Tamil Nadu politics is seeing new faces, comments and opinions and also the entries. These days, two names are very much in news and those are Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. Both are superstars and both have made their name in film industry. Whereas, Rajinikanth is still on a diplomatic mode, on the other hand actor Kamal Haasan is on aggressive mode. He alleged that money power was behind TTV Dinakaran’s win in the RK Nagar by-elections, drawing sharp rebuke from the sidelined AIADMK leader who accused the star of maligning voters.
Amidst accusations of money distribution by rival sides — the AIADMK and the Dinakaran camp — the former Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MP, contesting as an independent, had trounced the ruling party candidate E Madhusudhanan. He won by a margin of 40,000 votes, giving a jolt to the Chief Minister K Palaniswami led dispensation. Both Dinakaran as well as the ruling party have denied charges of money distribution. Dinakaran hit back reproving the star of maligning voters. He said the actor was making such allegations as he could not digest his win in the by-poll.
Haasan described the by-poll, held due to the demise of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, as a ‘stain’ on Indian democracy. Without naming Dinakaran, Haasan said that the RK Nagar by-poll win was a ‘purchased’ one, alluding to alleged money distribution by the rebel camp. Haasan charged that both the ‘independent’ is the ‘ruling side fixed rates’ for voters; alleging that people had voted for money. Haasan, who has announced his intentions of entering politics, has been vocal on a number of issues ranging from corruption to right-wing extremism.
He took news space to micro blogging to stern his attack on rival politicians. Whereas, Rajinikanth’s political entry played out like a script, right out of one of his movies. There was years of build-up to this moment. And the political situation in Tamil Nadu is volatile due to the power vacuum left behind by the passing of J Jayalalithaa. Now more than ever, people in the state need a stable political party and a leader that they can follow. Amid of growing desperation and anticipation, Rajinikanth promises of fixing the broken system.
Kamal Haasan openly welcomed Rajini’s sense of social responsibility and political entry. While the Thalaivar took his own time to take the plunge, Kamal beat him to it. It won’t be wrong to say that Kamal blindsided everyone by becoming active in politics. And he also wasted no time in announcing his intentions to contest the next state assembly elections. The political world, people and the media, however, had to wait more than two decades for the politician Rajinikanth to reveal himself. The iconic Rajinikanth-Kamal Haasan rivalry will continue now in the political realm too.
Kamal, once suggested that he spotted a rival in Rajinikanth the moment he saw him at the office of legendary director K Balachander. After getting trained at the film institute in Chennai, Rajinikanth went to Balachander, seeking a chance to act in movies. Kamal, who was already a star at the time, was afraid that this novice might bag an interesting role in his mentor Balachander’s next film. A person of Pune film institute was also there. For some reasons, he did not impress Balachander. But later on he ruled Tamil film industry and today he is the super hero in this trade.
The climate in Tamil Nadu, may not be suitable for Kamal. The BPL people in Tamil Nadu feel happy with every election. Election year is a bonus year for them. Both the Dravidian parties have sensed the mood of the people. They engage people in a different way, and they have many committed voters too. Kamal’s resource factor and mind-set too, are different from these two parties. If he is interested in real politics, he may have to lose his lifetime resources before the election. He should look for another choice of life, which may be different from the present way of living. Certain erstwhile leaders have done it. They came to the political spectrum with a Big bang. They donated all their properties to the people, before entering politics, and this worked well. That was an opportune moment to do so. This is a different environment, people may look for different options, and the same need not work.
Let Kamal ascertain the mood of the people, by organising public meetings. Holding office is different from public interaction. He should confirm that he can take the people with him. So far he has not tested the people’s support for him. Media hype is not people’s support. Many of the people are, influenced by caste and religion, and most of the voting patterns were also such. Support for Kamal may not come from these sectors. No one will enter politics to support him, if corruption is removed. Money laundering is the main aim for most of the individuals and groups. Without that, politics will not survive. Making a major change is possible, only at the national level.
The center can do anything and everything to control states. It is already visible here. Kamal is too immature for politics and administration. Even among public, he does not have that much good image to be elected as a leader. Tamil people do also take in account of conduct in personal life. His playboy Image in personal life, living together and recent clash with Gautami, his partial behaviour in Big Boss show, his emotional blackmail of leaving India during Vishwaroopam Issue, all points to negative results for him in his political career.
Though he is more learned than Rajini, politics doesn’t require that. His caste tag would be used against him fiercely. Rajini is a Maratha and have backward class with him, which would work in his favour. Kamal faces a double challenge — he is considered high-brow and notwithstanding his agnostic stance he would be dubbed a Brahmin by the Dravida parties who have been using anti-Brahminism as their plank to fool Tamils to support all their parties dominated by non-Tamils! To become the CM, one needs to be the head of the largest party in Assembly (preferably party with simple majority, but at least being the largest party would help). Kamal doesn’t have a party of his own till date. He has four years to go for the next election, but I doubt if he could start something and get it that big by 2021.
This is the first part of the editorial. The remaining part will continue on Monday.
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