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Thala-Thalapathy, what started the fight???

In psychology, there is a term called narcissistic personality disorder. It's a common behavior exhibited by all, sometime or the other in their life where a person when criticized, show themselves absolutely incapable of retaining any emotional poise, or receptivity. And it really doesn't much matter whether the nature of that criticism is constructive or destructive; they just don't take criticism, period. They won't mind going offensive to counter that criticism as well. Let's come back to this later.


When I started researching the real cause for rift between Ajith and Vijay fans, I looked at it from three angles:


1. On screen mockery: What if one actor mocked the other on screen and that caused the fight between fans?


Sure enough I did find content that could just be deemed as ‘mockery’:


24 October 2003, Vijay's Thirumalai stormed the screens with his famous dialogue, :


வாழ்க்கை ஒரு வட்டம் டா, அதுல ஜெயிக்கறவன் தோப்பான், தோக்கறவன் ஜெயிப்பான்"


In the same movie Thirumalai, there is a scene where after a bike race with Lawrence, he stops inches short of the finish line to let him win. In a series of dialogues that follows he uses the term 'Thala' to address Lawrence in a seemingly deliberate manner more than once.


In May 1 2004, Ajith's film Jana hit the screens and it's where he voices his seemingly counter punch


"வாழ்க்கை ஒரு வட்டமோ, சதுரமோ கிடையாது மேலயும் கீழயும் போயிட்டு வர, எனக்கு அது நேர் கோடு தான், குறுக்க வரவன மிதிச்சிட்டு போயிட்டே இருப்பேன்"


But here's the thing, the so called fan battle was prevalent even before the above mentioned movies hit the screen.


Moreover, something similar also happens in the case of rival companies launching ad campaigns that take a jibe at the other. In light of this, it’s sensible to call such on screen mockery as a ‘marketing strategy’.


2. Personal rifts between the actors?

Both the actors never have on a personal note made any slander about the other in public. It has quite been to the contrary. There are of course unofficial hearsay floating around about rivalry between the two actors. Ajith once agreed that there has always been a healthy competition between them. But never has either one of them said something publicly about the other that can deemed worthy of instigating a fan battle.


3. Fans themselves started fight?

Having ruled out the other two angles I landed upon this more obvious angle. Could it have been the fans that did something that caused a fan ‘war’? (Considering that there have been casualties in thala-thalapathy fights, yes it’s right to call it war). If so, whose fans started it? Which event actually dropped the first bomb?


A long list of accusations started when I started this line of research and I found myself guilty of instigating profane verbal quarrels more than once. While I couldn’t nail the exact event that started the fan rifts, I could realise the basic psychology that instigates any fan battle.


Remember the psychology explained in the beginning? Narcissism?


Let's say I'm a diehard FDFS Thala fan and you're a diehard FDFS Thalapathy fan. You come and criticize my hero I simply cannot take it. Period. That's when I start getting offensive. That's when I really don't plan on giving up my favourite. And it’s certainly going to be an eye for an eye after that.


What caused the fan war is what still causes it and will cause it in future- our NARCISSISTIC   infatuation to either of the two charismatic and legendary men of art. It's the same with Salman-Shah Rukh, Messi-Ronaldo, Sachin-Sourav, India-Pakistan, Hindi-Tamil, CSK-MI. It's the same all over the globe.


Thala-Thalapathy, it's a legacy. We will look back and we will smile. As is the case with legends such as MGR-Sivaji. It certainly feels good to take sides. But the recent trends of fans fighting in social media, theatres, in public and in private demand that we stop being narcissists. And start acting sensibly.

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