The fact that Thalaivar and Ulaganayagan own every heart in the South stands undisputed, but these two actors are widely loved in North India too. From being worshipped as a God to having tributes paid to, every day, Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth are two heroes who live as superheroes. Every movie, every advertisement and every poster becomes the ‘talk of the town’ even if it is remotely related to these two stars.
The two celebrities more or less own every single heart that beats in the South and a huge number in the North. It’s a scenario where they are followed so much so that fans turn to fanatics and every step they take becomes a statement, and so it becomes very important to be righteous and set the right example. Leadership, as they say, comes with a responsibility and to be the leader of so many people, is indeed a task as it always puts the needle of the moral compass on your actions.
There is no doubt in the fact that the two actors are blindly followed in the South, but does their following extend to the politicians as well?
They might have conquered the hearts of the people, but have they impacted their minds as well? Never thought about it, have you?
It is not that the two stars have never made any efforts to strengthen the political scenario of Southern politics. In 2002, Rajnikanth undertook a day-long fast to protest against the Karnataka government’s decision not to release Kaveri river water into Tamil Nadu. This move was independent of the Nadigar Sangam, the South Indian Artists’ Association and was highly criticized.
He also went on another hunger strike protesting against the Hogenakkal Falls water dispute. that the issue should be resolved soon. He even reprimanded politicians in Karnataka and urged them “to speak the truth” to the public
The Kabali star, famous for his philanthropy has also made some very strong political statements and has always been open about the parties he has supported.
Rajnikanth has always played the much-needed-hero character in all his films. His characters are enriched with values, morals, and heroics and the major reason why people love him is also the same. However, the wave of change shown in his movies is a tad too fast as compared to the changes in real life. As they say, reel and real life have their differences.
From openly supporting the Indian National Congress early on to change his support to the AIADMK – TMC alliance, Rajnikanth has always been very vocal about his political inclination. Even when the speculation of him joining politics started doing the rounds, Rajnikanth did not delay an explanation. He told his fans that he had no plans of joining politics.
An actor like Rajnikanth, who has every heart swooning over him, had to give various clarifications and explanations clearing his stand every now and then, about his political inclination, this amply proves that even a God needs to have the reason if he has to openly talk about politics, especially in the South.
The Ulaganyagan of Tollywood, Kamal Hassan is the first actor to have turned his fan clubs into humanitarian organizations. From being chosen by Narendra Modi for the Swachh Bharat Campaign to being awarded the first Abraham Kovoor award for his humanitarian work, Kamal Hassan has not left any stone unturned for doing his bit for the society.
The ‘Ek Duje ke Liye’ star recently announced that he was entering politics and that getting into the same would be like ‘ donning a crown of thorns’. This decision was taken hours after he met with Arvind Kejriwal. Unlike Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan has no leanings toward any side, he prefers to favor the center.
This move by Kamal Hassan shows that he has decided to step into the abyss of politics and be the flag bearer of change.
All we can hope is that what the movies and characters of these stars could not do, their real-life ideologies will do in politics. You don’t always need a set and a script to bring about a change, good deeds can be done off camera and off script too.
But the question that shall remain unanswered is that, will the people who look up to these stars both in South India and the North India ever change their thinking or the common man’s corruption that they are involved in every day. Or is it like the story of Kabir’s Gyan Jyoti (Kabir’s light of enlightenment)?
That people feel patriotic and determined to bring about change only till the time they are watching these movies and they are back to the old ways the moment they step out of the cinema halls, worrying about family, children, rent, job and what not. And if these two absolutely amazing Godly gentlemen can’t change the way people think, then what will?