Superstar Kamal Haasan pledged to work for the people for the rest of his life at the blockbuster launch of his political party ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam‘. “This is a party made for you, for the people,” the 63-year-old actor said to a thunderous applause from tens of thousands of people who had gathered at Madurai for the launch of his new party.
“I am just a worker, not your Thalaivar (leader or boss),” Mr Haasan said, telling his audience that he was looking at many future Thalaivars from this crowd.
Rajinikanth, the other superstar from Tamil Nadu who has announced plans to launch his own party before the next assembly elections in the state, is also adoringly called “Thalaivar” or “Ultimate Boss” by his legions of followers.
The two superstars are seen to be aspiring to fill a leadership vacuum in Tamil Nadu politics following former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016 and with DMK leader M Karunanidhi politically inactive because of poor health.
The two stars have been ambivalent about the possibility of joining hands in an electoral battle but they do often touch base. Mr Haasan had this week called on Rajinikanth. He was again asked about the possibility of collaboration between them but gave reporters the stock “only time will tell” response.
But it was at an interaction at Harvard University earlier this month that Mr Haasan had stressed that political compatibility was going to be the key to a possible tie-up in the future.
“I hope Rajinikanth’s colour is not saffron, because if it is, an alliance is unlikely,” he had said.
The 63-year-old actor-politician had said the colour of his politics is “black”, indicating that he follows the Dravidian ideology.
Rajinikanth, on the other hand, had announced that he would follow “spiritual” politics.