Politics in the time of Superstar Rajinikanth

Why is Rajinikanth waiting for a sign from above?

Written by Pratik Kanjilal | Updated: May 16, 2017 5:16 pm
Why is Rajinikanth waiting for a sign from above? (file photo)

It is said that the average room contains 2,432 objects which Rajinikanth can use to kill you, including the room itself. This is a random Rajinikanth fact. There are about a hundred more, and counting.

It is hard to believe that such an autonomous man must wait for a sign from God in order to join a political party. For millions, he is God. He is also the sign. With a little concentration, he could even become the party, by absorbing it into his gigantic aura, like a neutron star swallowing a planet careless enough to wander too close to its event horizon.

The customary power differential between politician and party stand reversed here. The superstar does not need the party. The party, on the contrary, obviously needs the superstar. In that case, why is he waiting for a sign from above? Perhaps it’s just a polite way of passing the time. As the old Rajini saying goes, the superstar does not rest. He waits.

Of course, when India is in the throes of a gigantic social and political churn, and when the masses believe that their dreams are almost within their reach and are prepared to fight for them, Rajinikanth is the man of the moment. In the movie landscape of the late 20th century, dominated by gigantic cutouts, he was the man of the masses. Sivaji Ganesan and MG Ramachandran represented the mainstream, and Rajinikath was the streetfighter in the… well, the streets, naturally. He’d just kiss the talisman on a string around his neck and start kicking the fundamentals. And when it was all over, he would flick a lit cigarette into the air, catch the filter perfectly in his mouth and start puffing with every evidence of satisfaction.

That was a novelty for the Seventies, of course. Had he burst onto the screens in our enlightened times, he may have chosen a different prop. Magnum bubble gum, perhaps, blowing bubbles the size of nuclear warheads. Whatever, it would have been novel. The only thing second-hand about Rajinikanth are the Rajinikath “facts”, like the one about killing you with a room. They are mostly borrowed from Chuck Norris “facts”. Not by himself, but his fans.

Now, perhaps the sign that Rajinikanth is waiting for before wading into the political cesspit fist-first is, again, a novelty. His fans will have to wait for a period which may not compute. As everyone knows, Rajinikanth does not wear a watch. He decides what time it is.

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