cooking in captain’s kitchen for elections?
and cinema are intermarried; at least in India,
especially in Tamil Nadu where the occurrence has
always been on a high. May be the political parties
are deceived by the crowd thronging the election
meetings addressed by film stars thinking they would
translate into votes. Or actors think they can trade
their successful stints as good Samaritans in movies
to politics. Either way, this scenario provides
fodder for interesting retrospection.
In a State (Tamil Nadu) where only two parties always
had their piece of (ruling) cake, a strong third
party (or a third front coalition) has always been
only on paper. An ambition of many aspiring political
parties that never reached fruition. But Vijayakanth’s
entry into regional politics fuelled a renewed interest
in that topic. And it was no mean task that he seized
the Vriddhachalam constituency, PMK’s stronghold,
in the 2004 elections.
Backed by his success in cinema, politics was Vijayakanth’s
obvious choice and it was only a matter of
he announced his political party. Liberal hints were thrown
in his movies as precursor to his political entry before
the announcement was made. After preparing the stage for
his entry, he made a grand entry; just like he would do
in his movies.
Although his party is still only in its grassroots stage,
Vijayakanth is tantalizing his opponents by being elusive.
What with elections drawing closer, he needs to take a
decision without further ado.
Vijayakanth is one of the very recent success stories
of movie stars from South India turning to politics –
although it’s still early to call him a success,
the fact that his party is very strong in the hinterlands
of Tamil Nadu goes on to prove that captain has already
chartered his way to success. Another quite recent example
is Chiranjeevi who floated his Praja Rajyam party just
ahead of the 2009 elections in Andhra Pradesh. His meetings
brought nightmares to the major ruling parties during
the election campaigns for the sheer number of spectators
they attracted; Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam settled
for 18 seats in the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly. A far
more successful run than Vijayakanth’s.
Captain is training himself into a thoroughbred politician.
He still hasn’t quit movies; kind of sailing in
two boats. Though now he has very less time to dedicate
for films, his movies have gradually decreased over the
years. But he ensures that the ones releasing have strong
political flavor in it. Last year’s release Virudhagiri
stands testimony for the fact that Vijayakanth is using
his movies to probably propagate his political agenda.
Interestingly, Virudhagiri was also directed by him. The
same applies to movies released in the recent past namely
Engal Aasan, Arasangam, Sabari and Dharmapuri. It looks
as if he feels the necessity to have a presence in movies
despite being aware of the fact that he has moved on to
test the political waters.
Vijayakanth’s entry into politics played out like
an underplayed drama unlike his movies that are always
eventful. When the entire Tamil Nadu was playing ‘will
he, won’t he’ about superstar Rajinikanth’s
announcement on his stance in regional politics, Vijayakanth
announced his party formation. His brief stint at the
Nadigar Sangam – that he very efficiently pulled
through by the way – perhaps also helped him to
become a politician.
When he headed the Nadigar Sangam, Vijayakanth was attributed
to bring together the association and clear its debts.
Under his leadership, Nadigar Sangam became an organization
that can stand on its own feet. All this played up as
foreplay for his entry into politics.
And it’s a well known fact that no other actor in
the recent past has been able to pull it off like Vijayakanth
in politics. Sharathkumar is one such case in point. His
political career is mired with unstable decisions about
his coalition with other political parties and his own
ambition on forming his own party. That effectively nullified
spouse Radhika ambitious political career. Talking of
which, Kushboo is the latest to jump the political bandwagon.
Vijay’s interest in politics is known unambiguously
to his fans and the people of Tamil Nadu.
Over and above all this, notwithstanding the awareness
that his party cannot achieve the majority in the elections
to rule the state, Vijayakanth is still pondering the
options thrown at him. Captain himself is quite aware
of this phenomenon and is not secret about his options.
But it won’t be too long since he decided a political
alliance. After all, the elections aren’t that far.
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