A 'warning from God' makes Rajinikanth break the promise of launching a political party

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A 'warning from God' makes Rajinikanth break the promise of launching a political party
Actor and activist RajinikanthBCCL
  • Actor Rajinikanth announced that he will not be taking the political plunge and launching his own party as promised in 2021 citing a ‘warning from God’.
  • He was recently discharged from a Hyderabad hospital after being treated for blood pressure fluctuations.
  • The 70-year old asserted that he will continue to serve the people of Tamil Nadu in whatever way he can without entering electoral politics.
Tamil Nadu is bracing for the state assembly election in 2021. A big chunk of the polity i.e. the fans of Rajinikanth have already been disappointed by the Super Star, who has, once again, decided not to launch a political party.

This wasn’t the first time the 70-year old actor⁠— who has enjoyed a demigod status in the southern state for decades⁠— has pulled back on the promise of a political party. However, his last declaration was that a new political outfit (with a “spiritual” ideology) would be born by year end. That has come to a nought.

Rajinikanth’s decision to avoid the ring has left the upcoming election as a battle between the two large, entrenched parties ⁠— the incumbent All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the biggest challenger Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), and some emerging contenders like the Makkal Needhi Mayyam led by actor Kamal Haasan and Naam Tamilar Katchi led by director-turned-politician Seeman to name a few.

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Here’s the translation of Rajinikanth’s latest letter addressed to the people of Tamil Nadu:
Greetings to the loving people of Tamil Nadu who have been the source of my life/livelihood. Having ignored the warnings from doctors, I had announced that I would notify my new political party in January, and headed for a film shoot in Hyderabad.

The 120-member crew was tested daily for coronavirus and steps were taken to ensure social distancing and use of masks, as the shooting progressed. Despite the controlled environment, we found out today that four people had contracted the virus. Immediately, the director stopped the shooting and got everyone, including me, tested.

While I tested negative for COVID-19, my blood pressure was found to be a bit volatile. Medical opinion says that having such sharp rise and fall in blood pressure for a long-enough time might badly affect my kidney that was recently transplanted.

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Therefore, as advised by my doctors, I had to spend three days in a hospital under supervision. Considering my health issues, the producer, Kalanithi Maran, has deferred the shooting for the rest of the film. Due to this, many people have lost their jobs, suffered losses worth crores, and all this has been caused by my poor health.

I see this as a warning from God.

Once I have started the party, campaigning through news channels and social media will not be enough to create awareness among people about my political ideology and win big in the election. It’s a fact that no one with experience in politics will deny. I would have to go out on campaign, meet people and draw thousands of people, maybe even lakhs, for my rallies.

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I had to spend three days under medical supervision in a hospital after COVID-19 struck us among just a 120-member crew. Now, this pandemic has a new strain and a second wave is looming large.

Even after a vaccine is available, if I, who has to consume immunosuppressants, have any health issue during the campaign, it may cause a lot of trouble ⁠—physical, economic and mental⁠— to me, and to those who have placed their trust in me and my political journey.

I do not want to use those who trust me as sacrificial lambs in the fear of criticism for having gone back on my promise that I wouldn’t worry about my life, and will start a political party.

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Therefore, I share with deep sadness that I won’t be able to launch a party and enter politics. Only I know how much it hurts me to say this.

I seek forgiveness from all members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram and all the fans who have been disappointed/betrayed by my decision.

Members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram have, over the last three years, bound by my words, acted with restraint, virtue and honesty, and continued to serve people even during the pandemic. The efforts will not go in vain.

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The fruits of your virtuous behaviour ( punniyam) will protect you and your family. When we met on November 30, you all unanimously said that “my good health will be your priority and whatever decision I take, you will agree to it.” I will never forget it till I am alive. I bow in front of your love and affection towards me.

Let the Rajini Makkal Mandram continue working as always.

I want to share my heartfelt gratitude to the honourable Tamizharuvi Manian Ayya for supporting me and telling me to focus on my health for the last three years, in the face of every criticism.

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I am also duty bound to thank Arjun Murthy who left a responsible position in a big party to work with me.

Whatever service I can provide to the people, without entering electoral politics, I will continue to do that.

I have never been afraid to speak the truth.

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It is my earnest request to the fans, who love me and help me thrive, who care for truth, transparency, and my wellbeing, to accept my decision.

Long live Tamils! May Tamil Nadu prosper! Jai Hind!

Affectionately,
Rajnikanth
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Superstar with a super impact
Rajinikanth’s decision may be seen as a setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ⁠— to which Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs ⁠— which has had little or no influence in the state so far.

The party was hoping to ride on Rajinikanth’s popularity to create a bank of Hindu-nationalist vote in a state that has been led by the Dravidian ideology (atheist more in principle than practice) for over five decades. National parties, including the Indian National Congress, have only been marginal players in Tamil Nadu where local identities and leaders have found resounding support.

“My own assessment is that those who would like to join the BJP may also join Rajinikanth’s party,” S Gurumurthy, the 71-year old editor of the iconic Tamil Magazine Tughlaq⁠— a board member at the Reserve Bank of India, and a long-time ideologue for Hindu majoritarian politics, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP⁠— said earlier this month.
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