Superstar Rajinikanth could have filled icon-void in Tamil Nadu politics, says S Gurumurthy

Rajinikanth could have delivered the people of Tamil Nadu from the two Dravidian parties that are essentially a mirror image of each other, political expert S Gurumurthy said on Friday. Speaking at the India Today Conclave South, Gurumurthy said that it was unfortunate that Rajinikanth had to drop the idea of launching a political party as he could have replaced the icon-void left by J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi.

After creating huge anticipation of his political foray, superstar Rajinikanth in December last year announced that he will not take the plunge owing to his frail health.

S Gurumurthy, who has been the superstar’s close associate and political advisor for several years, said that he was not surprised by Rajinikanth’s decision to drop out.

Contrary to the popular perception that I was trying to draw him into politics, I was guiding him on how difficult it can be to form a party. For a person whose health is so fragile, it can be very difficult,” he said, adding that ultimately the decision had to be made by the superstar, his family and his doctors.

Gurumurthy said that it was unfortunate that Rajinikanth’s health did not permit his entry into politics because the actor was so deeply committed to doing something in Tamil Nadu.

“Devoid of political icons like J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, Tamil Nadu needs an icon, which can only emerge from a nationalistic movement. If people thought Rajinikanth could be that icon, it is because he worked for it for several years. He created anticipation and a political base. People expected him to deliver them from two Dravidian parties [AIADMK and DMK] which are essentially a mirror image of each other. Of course, it was unfortunate that he could not make it,” Gurumurthy said.

Talking about the superstar’s feelings after quitting the political race, Gurumurthy said that he was conflicted.

“Obviously, he is feeling relieved but he is also sad that he was not able to do what he wanted. But he is not a man who will keep quiet because the inner urge in him is so strong and powerful,” the political expert said.

Who will Rajinikanth’s fan base vote for now? “It will be up to the fans, just like it was till now, except in 1996 and 1998 when he gave a call for political support to a certain side. They will do what they would otherwise have done,” Gurumurthy said.

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