My entry into politics is in the hands of God
Superstar Rajinikanth opens up as he meets his fans for the first time in 12 years
The atmosphere was festive at Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam as Superstar Rajinikanth met his fans after a gap of 12 years, some 700 of them from Kanyakumari,Karur and Dindigul districts. Speaking at the event, Rajini remarked,"We'd usually meet each other after a film's successful run at the cinemas for 100 days or 25 weeks, but due to certain complications couldn't do so after Enthiran. Kuselan or Kochadaiiyaan didn't do well and the circumstances were not right after a successful Kabali. But SP Muthuraman sir, whenever he met me, insisted on only two things - to take care of my health and meet you all regularly like I used to. And what better time to do that than now."
The event started with producer and director, SP Muthuraman recalling the time when Rajinikanth was ill. "Only two groups of people were responsible for his recovery - the doctors and his fans. I insisted that Rajini meet his fans post Kabali, and thanks to Sudhakar (All India Rajni Fans Club) and Rajini we can now proudly present to you, the first ever photo session between Superstar and his fans." SP Muthuraman, who's directed Rajini in 25 films, reminisced about the first time he cast the actor, "I met him at his humble quarters in Royapettah. I was casting for Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri at the time. If there's one thing that has stayed with him from then till now, it is his humility and the ability to keep himself grounded. Even now, when he has become a superstar, he still has a hut at the terrace of his home because he does not want to forget where he came from. Such qualities are what endear him to his fans. It is not a facade nor a gimmick, but the wonderful person that he is."
Rajinikanth, who walked in to a rapturous ovation from the crowd, spoke about his first role as a lead actor under SP Muthuraman. "My first film as a hero with sir was Aarilirinthu Arubadhuvarai. I am ashamed to say this, but at that time I used to drink alcohol quite a bit, and because of that I used to oversleep and come to the shoot late. After the first couple of days, he called me in privately and told me that as I was the hero, if I came in early, the rest will keep the time, but if I saunter in late, rest will slack off as well. From then till now, I have always been the first to be on the shooting spot. I might have learnt a lot at Ramakrishna Ashram, but I learnt discipline from SP Muthuraman sir. I have an annan (elder brother) in Bangalore, but he is my annan in Chennai."
On the rumours that this move was a stunt, Rajnikanth slyly remarked,"Tamil people aren't so easy to cheat, except at one thing which I do not want to talk now."
Rajinikanth opened up on the subject of politics, saying, "21 years ago a 'political accident' happened. I supported someone and my fans took my word as gospel and made it come true overwhelmingly. But what followed was something quite sad. Some fans, not all, along with politicians used my name opportunistically and made money. This happened consistently at every election, and because of this behaviour, I had to come out every time and say that I did not side with any political party."
He went on to say, "Fans have constantly written letters to me, pointing at actors who came after me who have become politicians, and that we should also push on to the next level. I don't say that's wrong, but don't do this if your motive is to make money. I have said it before, and I say it again now, my entry into politics is in the hands of God. I am just an instrument of God. He is using me as an actor now, but tomorrow I don't know how he will use me. I assure you though, whatever role God casts me in in the future, I will remain true to it and be accountable to you all. If I am going to enter politics, I will not let anyone into it who treats it as a money making vehicle."
Closing out the raucous session, Rajnikanth appealed to his fans to avoid the unhealthy habits of smoking and drinking alcohol.