Indian movie star Rajinikanth joins politics in Tamil Nadu

FILE - In this May 23, 2015, file photo, fans and policemen surround Indian film star Rajinikanth, center, as he arrives to attend the swearing-in-ceremony of Jayaram Jayalalitha as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu state in Chennai, India. Movie superstar Rajinikanth, 67, said Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, he plans to launch his own party, calling it his duty. The actor said to his cheering supporters his objective is to change the system and bring good governance to his native state of Tamil Nadu. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K, File)
Indian movie superstar Rajinikanth, center, gives thumbs up sign to his fans after announcement to launch his own political party, in Chennai, India, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Rajinikanth is entering politics in his southern Indian state with a plan to launch his own party, calling it his duty. The 67-year-old told his cheering supporters that his objective is to change the system and bring good governance to Tamil Nadu. (AP Photo/R.Parthibhan)
FILE - In this March 31, 2012, file photo, Indian actor Rajinikanth poses at a photo call for "Kochadaiyaan: The Legend" at a west London hotel. Movie superstar Rajinikanth, 67, said Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, he plans to launch his own party, calling it his duty. The actor said to his cheering supporters his objective is to change the system and bring good governance to his native state of Tamil Nadu. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File)
Indian movie superstar Rajinikanth fans burn firecrackers and hold his photograph after his announcement to launch his own political party, in Chennai, India, Sunday, Dec.31, 2017. Rajinikanth is entering politics in his southern Indian state with a plan to launch his own party, calling it his duty. The 67-year-old told his cheering supporters that his objective is to change the system and bring good governance to Tamil Nadu. (AP Photo/R.Parthibhan)

NEW DELHI — Movie superstar Rajinikanth is entering politics in his southern Indian state with a plan to launch his own party, calling it his duty.

The 67-year-old said Sunday to his cheering supporters that his objective is to change the system and bring good governance to Tamil Nadu. He called for political change and appealed to his fans to bring all sections of society into the fold.

"I do not want cadres. I want watchdogs," New Delhi Television channel quoted Rajinikanth as saying.

Rajinikanth is one of India's most popular stars and many of his 175-plus films since 1975 have broken box-office records, mostly in the Tamil and Telugu languages.

His political prospects appear bright following a huge political vacuum created by the death of Jayaram Jayalalithaa, an iconic political figure, and the near-retirement of 93-year-old Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the leader of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party.

Cinema has always influenced Tamil politics by turning actors into popular politicians.

C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi were both scriptwriters who went on to become chief ministers. M.G. Ramachandran, a top actor-turned-politician, also had a strong screen presence and following among the masses.

Born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor for three years before joining an acting school. He started in small roles as a villain in Tamil cinema and worked his way up, landing roles in Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai.

The Indian government honored him with top national awards — the Padma Bhushan in 2000, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016 — for his contributions to the arts. At the 45th International Film Festival of India in 2014, he was conferred the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan also tried his hand in politics as a member of India's Parliament, representing the Congress party in support of his friend, then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in the 1980s. He resigned after three years following allegations that he accepted bribes in the purchase of artillery guns. His name was later cleared from the scandal.

People also read these

Third time's charm on visas for Afghan girls...

Jul 13, 2017

Third time's the charm for war-torn Afghanistan's all girls team who have been applying for U.S....

The Latest: IS attack targets Afghanistan's...

Aug 25, 2017

Officials say an attack on a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul has killed at least 20 people...

Taliban suicide bomber targets Kabul bank, kills...

Aug 29, 2017

Taliban claim responsibility for suicide bombing in central Kabul near banks, US Embassy, that...

The Latest: US airstrike caused civilian...

Sep 27, 2017

The U.S. military says it conducted an airstrike in Afghanistan that mistakenly caused an...

Hospital official says 5 killed in Afghan suicide...

Sep 29, 2017

Hospital official says at least five people killed and 20 wounded in a suicide bombing outside a...

About Us

Get all the up-to-date breaking news about politics, business, entertainment, sports, lifestyles, weather, traffic, and local news in a seamless digital environment only in Morning Dispatcher.

Contact us: sales[at]morningdispatcher.com

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress