CHENNAI: Fans and followers of actor Rajinikanth were jubilant, as the star celebrated his 71st birthday on Saturday. What added reason to their enhanced celebration was his reaffirmation a week ago that he would float a political party by December 31.
Greetings poured in from people in all walks of life - starting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and a host of personalities from various tinseltowns across the country. When the clock struck 12 at midnight on the day, Rajinikanth’s fans, bearing Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) flags, cut cake in front of his residence as a precursor to their eventful day.
Fans started gathering in front of his Poes Garden house in the morning and a few women, along with their children, were also seen in the vicinity, waiting to catch a glimpse of their favourite star. Some of his fans had come with ‘prasadam’ (offerings) from various temples. However, to much disappointment, Rajinikanth’s assistants informed them that the actor was not at his residence and asked them to disperse.
For the past two decades, the actor had made it a point to not be at his Chennai residence on his birthday and used to request his fans not to come to the city to meet him on that day. On Saturday too, he was not present at his house, sources said. Interestingly, a group of artists from various parts of the State assembled outside his place in different attires, donning various looks of the actor from his blockbuster movies and wished him on his birthday, imitating his mannerisms.
They vowed to work for his victory in the 2021 State Assembly elections. They also hailed Rajinikanth as the future Chief Minister of the State. Many supporters wore tshirts with brightly embossed images of the actor, with his political punches like ‘Ippo illaina eppovum illai’ (Now or never). Across the State, RMM office bearers organised medical camps, blood donation camps, organ donation camps, anna dhanam, etc., to mark Rajini’s birthday.
They also performed special poojas for his wellbeing in most of the major temples. The Prime Minister, in his tweet, said, “Dear Rajinikanth ji, wishing you a happy birthday! May you lead a long and healthy life.” The Chief Minister, said, “My hearty greetings to you for a long, healthy life.” Deputy Chief Minister said, “My hearties wishes for Rajinikanth who have carved a niche for himself in Tamil film industry due to hard work and efficiency, and attained the status of ‘superstar’.
I wish him good health and long life.” DMK president MK Stalin conveyed his wishes to Rajinikanth over a telephonic call. Rajinikanth thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, DMK chief MK Stalin, BJP State president L Murugan, fellow artists from film industry and fans for their greetings.