Politics not for making money: Rajini to fans

Ahead of the release of 2.0, the sequel to his hit film, Enthiran, actor Rajinikanth once again broached the longstanding question of whether he will join politics. Speaking to around 600 fans coming from three districts — Karur, Dindigul and Kanniyakumari — here on Monday, Rajinikanth kept his options open but left the decision on his political plunge to divine providence. “It (joining politics) is in God’s hands. He wants me to be an actor now, I am now an actor. If he wants me to be something else, I will play that part as well. Please don’t get disappointed if I don’t come (to politics).”

Rajinikanth said that if he were to join politics he would have no truck with anyone who sees politics as a money-making enterprise. “Some fans have written to me, asking when they would get a chance to become MLAs and ministers, travel in fancy cars and buy two or three houses. Reading such letters, I don’t know whether to get angry or laugh at it,” he said. “But, if there is a situation where I do enter politics, let me state it clearly that I will not associate with those who want to make money through politics,” he added.

The actor sought to refute the criticism that he talks about his political entry only to create a buzz and prime his fans for an upcoming movie. “Thanks to my fans, I have never had to do something like that to ensure my film does well. People can’t be fooled like this. Only if the film is good, it will be successful,” he said.

Some political leaders were quick to appreciate Rajinikanth’s speech. Hailing the actor, BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan said while his political entry would be welcome, one must see whether he would be able to achieve great heights on his own or if he would need the support of an organisation.When journalists sought DMK working president M.K. Stalin’s reaction, he said, “Not just Tamilisai, I also welcome it.”

‘Political accident’

At the meeting with fans, Rajinikanth sought to explain that this question keeps coming up because of a “political accident” that happened in his life when he spoke against then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the run up to the Assembly elections in 1996. “I am not a great political leader or a social activist. Nobody is waiting for my support,” he said.

“Because of certain circumstances, I had to support an electoral alliance and people also supported that alliance and it won in 1996 assembly elections. Since then, my name has been associated with politics and some of my fans also got involved in politics willingly in 1998. Politicians used them and several of my fans also made good money. They were like cats that tasted good food,” said Rajinikanth.

“In successive elections, some of my fans approached politicians saying that I have supported them and politicians also sought the support of my fans. This is why I am forced to state that I am not supporting any party every time there is an election,” he added.

Commenting on why he decided to cancel his trip to Sri Lanka where he was supposed to unveil homes for displaced Tamil refugees, Rajinikanth said, “When I backed out of the Sri Lanka trip and postponed the fans meet earlier, the media said that Rajini has a wavering mind. Only after I entered the pond, I realised it was full of crocodiles. It would not be intelligent to keep the leg inside knowing the pond is full of crocodiles.”