How Rajini can still make a huge difference

Rajini took a U-Turn by announcing not starting his own party. There are many possible explanations, acceptable or not for his call

Rajini took a U-Turn by announcing not starting his own party. There are many possible explanations, acceptable or not for his call
Rajini took a U-Turn by announcing not starting his own party. There are many possible explanations, acceptable or not for his call

Rajini announced will not start his own party

Rajini’s (Superstar Rajinikanth) announcement of not starting his own party has been a bombshell to his supporters and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), relief to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK), and disappointment to smaller parties who wanted to use his entry as a bargain option with DMK/ ADMK.

In my humble opinion, this may be a very wise decision. A dispassionate reflection of Rajini’s decision will reveal the following:

1. Rajini may have been genuinely concerned that, if he started his own party, and something adverse happened to him, either before or within a short time after elections, but before second-line leadership within the party had stabilized, there would be all-round confusion, and jockeying for power, regardless of whether his party wins or not. In such a case, he would have created a bigger problem for his supporters and for the people of Tamilnadu.

Even in the case of films, Rajini faced many flops despite his knowledge of the pulse of the film market; state election is a much bigger challenge.

One may ask whether he did not think of this earlier or at least on Dec 3. There are many possible explanations, acceptable or not, like he may have decided to take the chance, but his hospitalization in Hyderabad may have made him rethink.

2. Most people still seem to be unaware of the precariousness of his health condition. Even assuming his health is not as bad, if he had started his own party, we have no clue what master plan he had to come to power and change the system.

Probabilistically, the chances of his success in elections didn’t appear great unless he was willing to make a lot of political compromises attracting strong and powerful opposition politicians. In such a case, people would not have believed he could reform the system and voted for him in the required large numbers.

So, his chances of defeat would have been high. He may have ended up getting DMK to power with a huge majority because he would have got more pro-ADMK votes than pro-DMK votes. Even in the case of films, he faced many flops despite his knowledge of the pulse of the film market; state election is a much bigger challenge.

3. Even assuming he had come to power, changing the system would not have been easy at all, which Narendra Modi himself has come to realize to his disillusionment, despite his best of intentions, no distractions like family, phenomenal popular support, many years of having been CM, etc.

So, the chances of his wish to come to power and give a clean administration were almost negligible.

Rajini is a well-meaning actor who may now have any ideas of what to do, but a huge army of supporters.

Hence, I think his decision to pull out of the electoral race, especially after years of prevarication, is very sensible.

But yes, after having given hopes and promises, he has disappointed his fans and undecided voters who may have been willing to support him. Many, including some of his own supporters, are making fun of him. It’s good that he’s willing to take these criticisms in his stride and move on.

What next? Is there a way Rajini can still make a difference to Tamilnadu and even national politics, and make the best of the bad situation?

Dr Abdul Kalam once asked his audience, “How many of you would like to collaborate and work with me?” Almost the entire audience put up their hands. He asked, “Are you all sure?” All said in a chorus, “Yes”. Then he said, “ok, come join me in the project of nation-building. There are crores of vacancies, and there are very few takers. A place for each of you is assured.”

This was no joke; he really meant it.

Mahatma Gandhi was not into electoral politics; he did not become the PM but wielded much more personal power among the people than J Nehru as PM did.

Swami Vivekananda also said, “Give me 100 energetic young men and I shall transform India.”

Am I equating Rajini to Dr Kalam, Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda? The answer is No. They were well-meaning people who had ideas, but not enough followers. Rajini is a well-meaning actor who may now have any ideas of what to do, but a huge army of supporters. He can easily string together a team of great people, each a specialist in one’s own realm, with excellent ideas but no teams to execute their ideas.

So, Rajini can start an array of connected organizations at the grassroots levels, each headed by competent leaders with transformative goals and ideas, supported by his fan clubs and willing well-meaning supporters.

Since there are no posts with perks up for grabs, there will be very little scope for corruption, and hence very little competition, Rajini can undertake transformative projects that would use his supporters and benefit the state and the nation, much more than by starting a political party or becoming CM. There are limitations to what a CM or ruling party can do, but there is no limit to what a nationalist-minded movement can do.

If Rajini had come to power, the chances of his party going astray, during and after his lifetime, were very high, whereas the chances of his movement going astray are much lower.

One may argue, there are already so many social services and social work organizations across the country. How will one more make a difference?

No other organization has such a tall leader. No other organization has such popular support at grassroots levels, in rural and urban areas. In fact, not making use of his goodwill, being such a well-meaning person that he is, will be a tragedy. Thinking of it as Rajini Makkal Narpani Manram is extremely limiting; he should think much, much bigger.

What exactly can Rajini do next? We will see in the follow-up article…

To be continued…

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

An Engineer-entrepreneur and Africa Business Consultant, Ganesan has many suggestions for the Government and sees the need for the Govt to tap the ideas of its people to perform to its potential.
Latest posts by Ganesan Subramanian (see all)

8 COMMENTS

  1. What ever may be the reason for Rajanikanth to chicken out, he has let down his spiritual gurus who groomed him for healthy politics. He enjoyed fame and wealth and there is nothing for him to achieve and the least he could have done is help BJP to clean tamilnadu from atheists. There two types types of people god created, one is like railway engine and others are like bogies. Rajanikanth pretended to be an engine but turned out to be a bogey. He wasted this birth and gurus don’t give a second chance.

  2. Ganesan Subramaniam, I appreciate your erudite analysis on Rajanikanth’s flips.
    I used to depend on Cho write ups to know more about TN politicos and parties and its economy.

    Hesitant Rajanikanth may be similar to Upendra Kannada Cinema star postponing his decisions and Pawan Kalyan though floated his Jana Sena lost directions due to lack of experience and bad media planting stories. NTR Junior not yet entered politics belongs to wait and watch mode and may get ready made support from his own community. Look at Vijayashanti back in BJP camp again!! Late MGR, Late NTR senior and late Dr.Rajkumar were totally from a different stable. The then united AP CM late NTR senior was mislead by a coterie and few of his own dramas and politically motivated Congress-I 100 cases on him

    BJP uses male and female film stars and show cases them as meteorite showers in election rallies!
    India must keep away from film stars first. If film starts are interested let them contest elections.

    Lastly, Ganesan Subramaniam, I differ from your view on PM Modi.
    Had PM Modi have had good intentions he could have made several experienced without age bar LS and RS MPs as cabinet ministers and by our country would not have “recorded minus 23.4% dip” in growth with record jobless growth and would have solved inherited rotten system by now. BJP lead NDA is wasting time!!

    Issue with PM Modi is that he do not trust his own MPs and imports outsiders/few turn coats and made them as (dummy) ministers and one fellow who abused PM was made a minister in 2019!!!For instance, PM is killing skill/talent in Piyush Goyal but floated a skill development ministry!

    One should know how to make good use of “laws” of our land.
    One should be a PM of Pan India and not of a State or a combination of UP-Bihar-Gujarat now.
    Nehru Gandhi family had UP-Bihar-TN as their India!

    Look at Nehru Gandhi family still nicely exploits loopholes with battery of loyal judicial system and LS/RS MP lawyers available at their beck and call 24/7/365 misuses everything and still gets away with it and BJP lead NDA for over 6 years now looks the other way! New ideas or talents or skills are of no use. Its a numbers game in India.

    Hence Rajanikanth took a wise decision after quick flip flops! Nothing wrong in his good decision. May Almighty God bless him.

    • Dear Mr Ananda Pramod,

      I also feel the same way as you do about Modi not using the right talent within his party, regardless of age. To a large extent it’s because of his style of functioning. Nothing wrong with his intentions.

      With Rajini, the advantage is he knows his limitations, unlike Modi, but again Rajini could depend on wrong set of advisors; we don’t know. One misses Cho very badly.

      Regardless of the negative possibilities, I think Rajini’s large support is a great asset which should somehow be made good use of in the state’s and national interest, and not wasted, because Rajini has good intentions.

  3. Rajini did voice for transformative projects like connecting Indian rivers and that did not go any where. There has always been a gulf between his intentions and actions. Even at this juncture of him about to announce a party, being wedded to DMK leader through marriage and Sun Pictures, did not bode well. The best he can do at this time is to speak his mind on political issues without reservation to sway voters – based on past experience, it is very unlikely. So, the Dravidian rule will continue – the damage can be limited if BJP’s TN leaders keep their mouth shout and let ADMK win.

  4. A comparison:
    1. When Rajinikanth made the sensational announcement on Dec. 3, his choice of language, his definitive tone and his exuberant body language and the confidence with which he introduced the two ‘pillars of support’ along with the borad road-map revealed his usual trait;

    2. Now while announcing his withdrawal de decided to remain incognito from the cameras, but chose to write a letter and release it through the media in which he cited the reason logically difficult to gulp.

    This unexpectedly huge gap Between 1 & 2 leaves a lot for speculation. What really has happened?

    • It’s difficult to speculate, but my own guesses are 2 possibilities:

      1. His BP fluctuation was really a huge warning to him, not to assume that he would survive even for a few years, esp in a high pressure election campaign. His health prognosis is not at all good. He may have been genuinely concerned, what would happen if he doesn’t live to see thru the election, or even if he does, if he doesn’t live long enough to stabilize the party after the elections, regardless of the results.

      2. There is speculation that he had commissioned a survey and the results were not at all encouraging. So, he didn’t want to start a party that didn’t have a chance. His party workers would have given their sweat and blood, and all could go to waste, if he doesn’t survive for long.

      My 2 cents

  5. Excellent write up . holistic view but then didn’t Rajinikanth know he’s unwell since years . Stability is void in his thought .He quoted MGR .but MGR did ground work ,brought in reforms and one fine day after lot of pitfalls one says I am going to float a party and withdraws is something very disgusting for his band of followers .Anymore stardom cannot influence and must not influence the voters unless and until they are downto earth 🌟 stars ! Suggestion of his movement holds good but will the so called established Dravidian parties with surving the mercy of their icons allow this to happen .anyways wishing Rajinikanth the famous cinema super star the best .He is spiritual nationalist .

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