It was a fanboy moment for me yesterday, when through a common friend who thinks both of us are nationalists and both of us needed to meet each other; I got a chance to meet one of India’s most respected and loved global icon and superstar – Rajnikanth.
Rajnikanth is not just a movie star, he is a movie institution in himself.
I have had a period in my growing up years when I have copied his suave mannerism, especially the stylish way of wearing the sunglasses.
I admire the reel life of Superstar Rajnikanth. His rags to riches story is inspirational. His charisma and raw energy is visible even today. Sitting in his presence was in itself charismatic.
But while I admire Rajnikanth ‘The Superstar’, I am in greater admiration of real life – for his humble and simple humanness.
He is down to earth, amiable and most of all approachable to the millions who admire him and look up to him for guidance and direction.
In our discussion today morning, I realised that the Rajnikanth is not just a human or a movie superstar or a global icon or even a political aspirant, he is an idea of hope and aspirations for the millions of people of Tamil Nadu and India.
He is what I would like to call ‘I am Tamil Nadu’.
He encapsulates the essence and beauty of the people of Tamil Nadu – simple, honest, tenacious and fiercely protective of their rich culture and heritage yet accepting of people outside of Tamil Nadu who respect and blend with their culture.
He is a story of determination, dedication and devotion to one’s profession and one’s role as a human in our society. His story is not only inspirational but aspirational.
There is no doubt in my mind that Rajnikanth has attained a Demi-God-like status not only in Tamil Nadu but across the world.
He is a nationalist and a rationalist but most of all a humanist.
He has the people who love and hero-worship him and he has time-again poured out his love for his people in his own simple ways.
He is a people-centric person and a person who has seen life down in the dumps and life at heights of success. He knows what it means to be hungry and knows what it means to feed the hungry.
Yet is all this wonderful qualities about Rajnikanth enough for him to lead the people of Tamil Nadu into a new era of socio-economic growth and politics.
I would like to believe so but politics has never been about ideals or idealistic people, it has always been about political machinations and vicious political strategies.
Politicians in India have taught us time and again that politics is about ruthlessness and self-interests not much about public interests or nation’s interest. There are however exception to the normally seen trends of corrupt politicians.
I can understand the thought process in the mind of Rajnikanth. The uncertainty of taking a leap into this muck of politics. It is not easy to take this decision. It is not easy to fight powers and people rooted in unbridled corruption and years of political machinations. It is not easy to fight large money war chests that are plunged into the election warfare.
He is a novice in the political arena, a cub in front of seasoned scavengers, even though he is popular social figure with a tremendous fan following.
Elections in recent times have indicated that people are mostly fickle in their political preferences. It is difficult to understand their voting mindset, especially in Tamil Nadu. Sometimes they vote for ADMK, the other time they would vote for DMK. I am sure even the most seasoned politician in Tamil Nadu would not know which way a vote would swing and in favour of which political party.
It is normally 7 to 8 per cent of the mostly undecided voter-base which decides the outcome of the elections in Tamil Nadu.
But even after putting together all the negative probabilities to the analysis on Rajnikanth political move. I am of the firm opinion that if Rajnikanth enters into the political arena and plays out the ’King’s Gambit’. He will usher in a new era of socio-economic growth for the people of Tamil Nadu.
In my lengthy discussion with him this morning, I learned about his vision in vital areas such as education, healthcare and employment generation.
He has a vision. His vision is a larger vision and mission which is a march towards self-dependency and self-sustainability. His mantra is a about growing Tamil Nadu and through that growing India.
He wants to empower the people of Tamil Nadu.
He wants them to believe in themselves and in their importance to the future of Tamil Nadu.
He wants to be the beacon of hope to the people of Tamil Nadu and not just an occupant of the Chief Minister’s chair.
He wants to stir in the people of Tamil Nadu a revolution to work towards a better Tamil Nadu.
He wants the people of Tamil Nadu to believe in themselves, that the power to change the future of Tamil Nadu does not lie with two political parties and certain political families but it lies with the people of Tamil Nadu.
He wants to see a wave of this belief, that each and every person of Tamil Nadu proudly states that ‘I am Tamil Nadu’.
I am confident that Rajnikanth is a the change-manager that the people of Tamil Nadu needs.
I am also confident that in his mind, he knows he has an arduous task at hand and is solely dependent on the support of the people of Tamil Nadu, who believe in his vision.
Rajnikanth in my opinion wants to give back to Tamil Nadu what the people of Tamil Nadu gave him – love and respect.
For Rajnikanth to win against the powerful two political parties, it would need more than political machinations, it would need a wave of people support. It would need selfless people to commit to a cause – Towards a Better Tamil Nadu.
Rajnikanth is an idea. Rajnikanth is story of Tamil Nadu in its different facets. Rajnikanth is the hope for a better Tamil Nadu.
My earnest appeal to you Mr Rajnikanth is that the people of Tamil Nadu see in you a leader. In you they see a ‘Change-Manager’.
Be that ‘Change-Manager’. The time is now!