Rajini keeps off politics; fans, persuaders recall events of 1996

‘Thuglak’ editor says Rajini’s move was ‘inevitable,’ but says he'd still make political impact in polls

Gurumurthy is known to be among those who had persuaded the actor to take a plunge in politics.

Now that Rajinikanth has decided to stay away from politics citing his health condition, there is speculation over what the matinee idol has on his mind – a situation where he could still have a big say.

On Tuesday (December 29), the living legend of Tamil cinema issued a three-page statement, announcing a decision that left his fans in politics and outside disappointed. “I regret to announce that I am not in a position to launch a party and enter politics. Only I know the pain behind this announcement. This will come as a disappointment to those who are part of RMM (Rajini Makkal Mandram), my fans and people. Forgive me,” the statement read.

“Some people may ridicule me. But, fearing them, I cannot sacrifice those who trust and travel with me,” he said. Rajinikanth was reportedly in Hyderabad last week and was hospitalized for fluctuating blood pressure. He was tested negative for COVID-19.

People were expecting Rajinikanth to announce his plans on December 31. His fans took to social media to express their frustration, some even gathered in front of his Poes Garden residence in an attempt to dissuade the actor.

Those who are close to him, or who simply love him, went as far back as 1996 when he had said, “Even God can’t save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa returns to power.” That is believed to have turned the tide in the Assembly polls in favour of the DMK-Tamil Maanila Congress combine.

Also read: Finally, superstar Rajinikanth isn’t acting anymore…about politics

‘Thuglak’ editor and RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy is known to be among those who had persuaded the actor to take a plunge in politics. After Rajni’s decision on Tuesday, Gurumurthy tweeted that the matinee idol would still make a “political impact” in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls due in April. “After Rajinikanth’s health setback, he told me about his decision. It was inevitable,” Gurumurthy tweeted.

“But read the penultimate paragraph of his statement, saying that without directly entering politics, he will serve the people of Tamil Nadu. In my assessment, he will make a political impact on TN like in 1996,” tweeted Gurumurthy.

Also read: Rajinikanth discharged from hospital; no major health issues found

The situation around 25 years back was very different as Jayalalithaa was facing charges of corruption and anger was apparent among voters.

A political analyst quoted by The New Minute claimed it was Gurumurthy who wanted Rajinikanth in politics more than Rajinikanth himself. “The long-term plan was to make way for a vote bank for BJP,” he said. Obviously, that’s ruled out now.

In the run-up to the Assembly polls, it would be interesting to watch as to how the ruling AIADMK and the BJP persuade Rajinikanth for his support.