T wo film stars and wannabe politicians graced the inaugural of a memorial for arguably the best Indian actor of all time, Sivaji Ganesan, and offered some home truths. Both Sivaji and M G Ramachandran were brilliant performers but only MGR could convert his popularity into votes. Sivaji began with the DMK, moved to the Congress and later floated his political party but could not even win his own seat in the Assembly elections. Despite superstardom, Sivaji was a failed politician. That was an important takeaway from Sivaji’s life, said Rajinikanth, with Kamal Haasan by his side.
“Fame and money alone are not enough to succeed in politics; you need something more. I promise I don’t know what that is, but I think Kamal knows. Even if he does, he will not tell me,” Rajini said trying to pull Kamal’s leg.Rajini’s was an honest admission of the unknown X-factor that helps very few stars like MGR and N T Rama Rao seamlessly go on to wrest power in their respective states. They managed to be in the right place at the right time and took the right decisions, so the universe conspired to help them achieve their dreams. However, Rajini yet again left the question hanging on whether or when he would announce his political debut.
Kamal though has already set a year-end timeline for his political entry. In one of his multiple interviews of late, he had suggested that his acting career could come to an end, to let the germinated neta in him grow to its full potential. Yet, he went on and signed Indian 2, a sequel of his movie, Indian, which is expected to be shot next year. Would that make him a full time politician? Surely caustic tweets and media bytes alone cannot be a substitute for offering an alternative vision to the voters without doing enough leg work at the grassroots level. Does he really know the X-factor and do what it takes to be a successful politician? Time alone can tell.