01 November, 2020

Reel Life Vs Political Life: Can Tamil Superstars Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan Be Thalapathi?

Theatre and films plays a big role in Tamil politics. MGR was a crowd-puller and Jayalalitha was a gamechanger. Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan are slowly making their political ambitions clear

Rajnikanth basks in his fans’ glee as he makes his political ambitions clear in 2018
Photograph by PTI
Reel Life Vs Political Life: Can Tamil Superstars Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan Be Thalapathi?
outlookindia.com
2019-05-07T14:37:19+05:30

In a memorable scene from Anbu (2003), Tamil comedian Vadivelu is shown manning his party’s campaign booth outside a polling centre. He stops a voter and asks him if he voted for his party’s ‘coconut tree’ symbol. The voter swears he did and after much prodding reveals that he voted thus in exchange of the money received from Vadivelu and—cry out laughing—for the opponent’s ‘ladder’ symbol as well, for the money received from him. “I stamped on both the symbols for the money I took from both!” he explains.

The next voter, when coaxed similarly—about voting for the ‘coconut tree’—ass­erts that he did, saying proudly that he has been party to this quid pro quo transaction for 15 years! “So this is the way these guys had been voting for 15 years?” asks Vadivelu, startled and agape.

A masterful comedian, Vadivelu would not have anticipated that he himself would become a victim of electoral politics a decade later. In 2011, ahead of a bitterly fought...

unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


More from G.C. Shekhar


Latest Magazine

November 09, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section