In January this year, when Kollywood superstar Rajinikanth said he would not take the electoral plunge, his fans and followers were upset. On Monday, as his fans were expecting him to give out a new update on his upcoming movie Annaatthe, the actor made a surprise announcement.
The superstar, who had just come back from the US after his health check up, said on Monday morning, “There are still questions about my political entry. I am meeting the executives of my Rajini Makkal Mandram.” He said this before setting out to meet the RMM members.
An hour later, he issued a one-page press statement, announcing his decision to dissolve RMM. “I had thought of starting a political party and getting involved in politics. But the timing was such that it was not possible. I have no intention of getting involved in politics in the future, so I kindly inform you that the Rajini Makkal Mandram will function as a fan charity forum for the benefit of the people,” the statement read. The secretaries, associates, deputy secretaries and executive committee members in the RMM will continue for the time being and RMM will function as a welfare forum, he added.
Rajinikanth’s has now proved to be a non-starter in politics, except for his statements since 1996. The allusion to a possible political entry by the star in several speeches and statements and the idea of a “spiritual politics” that he touted had his fans and well wishers excited. After the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaaa in 2016 and with M. Karunanidhi becoming silent, Rajinikanth’s activities to launch a party and get into active politics, started moving fast.
Few power centres, said to be close to the rulers in Delhi, were often seen meeting with the superstar and possibly offering counsel on the launch his party. Rajinikanth has often said he is in for “clean politics,” and coined the term “spiritual politics.” He showcased himself as a person who was opposed the Dravidian-Periyar ideologies, only to make people understand that his politics would not follow the path of the two Dravidian majors— the AIADMK and the DMK—in Tamil Nadu.
Despite all this, Rajinikanth never chose to launch his party or did any political work. He did not meet people, nor did he travel across the state. From 2017 to the beginning of 2021, Rajinikanth was a politician on paper and was a non-entity in Tamil Nadu politics.
Rajinikanth will continue to be the superstar, entertaining his fans through his onscreen heroics. However, as for politics, his journey has ended even before it began.