Like Thunder to Our Heart: Rajinikanth Fans on Leaving Politics

Rajinikanth, on Tuesday, announced that he will not indulge in electoral politics.

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India
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A speculation that spanned almost 30 years came to a crashing end on Tuesday as superstar Rajinikanth finally announced that he will not enter electoral politics. In a statement, he added that he will continue serving the people through his fan club Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) and cited his health as the reason behind his sudden decision.

From hinting at politics and making big political statements through his movies, Rajinikanth has also been credited of swaying 1996 state Assembly elections with his statement against J Jayalalithaa. Rajinikanth’s political entry has been a matter of great interest to observers. It was finally on 31 December 2017 that the superstar announced that he will indeed enter electoral politics. Three years since, the actor recently stated that he will launch a political party in January 2021 and the details about the party will be revealed on 31 December.

Days before the D-day, the actor released a statement putting a full stop to his ambitions of ruling Tamil Nadu through a victory in electoral politics. Citing his recent health complications as a ‘warning issued by God’ and apologising for giving hopes to his fans and followers, Rajinikanth said that his health does not permit him to hit the ground for election campaigns and meet people.

However, this abrupt end to his political journey before it had even started has left many of his fans confused and crestfallen. While several fans accepted his decision and expressed solidarity, many others requested their ‘thalaivar’ to reconsider his decision.

“This decision by thalaivar is like a thunder on our hearts. Over the past 30 years, we have all been working for our thalaiavar, without going to any other political party. There is no doubt that his health comes first and that we will always abide by his words and decisions. But now we are not in a position of maturity to accept his decision,” P Alagarsamy, the Assistant Secretary of Rajini Makkal Mandram (Madurai Urban) told TNM.

Adding that with the advancement in technology, Rajinikanth can choose to conduct meetings and campaigns through video conferencing, Alagarsamy said that it remains a question mark what they will tell the booth committee members that were mobilised in the hopes of Rajinikanth’s entry into electoral politics.

“We request our thalaivar to reconsider his decision,” he added.

While a few RMM members have vented their hearts many members are ready to follow the decision of their leader since his health comes as their priority.

A Rajini Makkal Mandram cadre, Yuvaraj said, “Thalaivar’s way is our path. Even if he chooses spirituality, we will follow him on the spiritual path. If he decides to do service, we will as well do service for the people. Even if he had showed us a way in politics then we would have jumped into politics. We want him to have a good life and we do not want any popularity for us with his name.  He has given us all, even relations from Himalayas to Kanniyakumari.”

Yuvaraj said, “We just have one regret that the system of Tamil Nadu will not be changed now. However, his life is much more important for us and he should stay healthy. Even if he does not enter politics, we will thank him and see him as our ‘Thalaivar’”.

On the next course of action, Yuvaraj said, “We have created a list of good candidates leaving out their party affiliations so we will stand behind them and support them during elections. Apart from politics, we will continue to do service by conducting donations and blood camps.”

“We did expect this and we were 80 percent ready to accept even if the leader quits because at the end of the day his health is more important for us,” Yuvaraj reiterated.

Another RMM member from Chennai North division said, “We will follow whatever Thalaivar decides, anyway our Rajini Makkal Mandram will function so we do not have any problem. The announcement has not disappointed us because we will anyway continue our service for the people.

(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)

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