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Rajinikanth, a leader without party in Tamil Nadu | Chennai News

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CHENNAI: Rajinikanth has shown his political inexperience by blaming anti-socials for instigating violence during the anti-Sterlite protests, many feel. What he said may be politically wrong for many, because in Tamil Nadu, the ‘right thing’ is to approve of violence unleashed against the administration, more so when it is against the police.

Rajini may have chosen the wrong place to say it, but it takes guts for someone to speak his mind, knowing well that he may not be playing to the gallery and could be ruffling many feathers.

Rajinikanth doesn’t seem to be acting in real life. He may have struck the right chord with the common man, who is not dumb to look past the political undercurrents driving every agitation on the street. There is a strong constituency of people out there who are neither AIADMK nor DMK supporters. He seeks to reach out to them.

His visit to the Tuticorin government hospital to call on the injured victims has once again put on display his popularity quotient.

People thronged the streets to see him.

Patients and their attendants shook hands with him, forgetting for a moment their grief. Before Rajini, many leaders had visited the injured at the same hospital. In spite of an injured youth rudely asking Rajinikanth, “Who are you?” the difference in the public response was stark.

The political flux that Tamil Nadu is in today could throw up many possibilities. Rajini is a leader without a party and the AIADMK is a party without a leader. The political polarisation, which is getting starker by the day, could bring them together. Rajini’s views on the Sterlite violence were lapped up by AIADMK mouthpiece ‘Namadhu Amma’ to defend the government.

Rajini, by his own admission, wants to inherit AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran’s political legacy, but during his media interaction on Wednesday there were traces of J Jayalalithaa’s assertive brand of politics. No wonder, Rajini said the state should clamp down on anti-socials with an iron hand as Jayalalithaa used to. MGR confined his anger to films.

Rajini’s critical views on violence reflect his political maturity. He treats attack on the police as height of lawlessness and this is not the first time he has expressed such views. Even during the anti-IPL agitations at Chepauk, Rajini had hit out at those who attacked police. No leader of stature ever exhorts violence. Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi never encouraged violence , because those who espouse it achieve little.

He did not spare the government either, calling the police act of opening fire on protesters barbaric.

He blamed the state intelligence department for the entire episode. If intelligence sleuths had forewarned authorities to take preemptive actions, the protest would have been peaceful.

Updated: June 1, 2018 — 8:06 am

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