Chennai: In the cinema obsessed Tamil society and its multiple media houses that often peddle superficial and shallow reportage on even critical public issues, a mere wave of an arm or flash of a smile from popular actors cause near-hysteria.
Actor Rajinikanth has worked this distressing social trait to his advantage quite a few times, and he did it again on Sunday evening at the glittering celebration of his friend Kamal Haasan’s 65th birthday and his 60 years in cinema.
Amid the wholesome praise for the hugely talented friend of over four decades, Rajini referred to the great luck that catapulted Edappadi Palaniswami miraculously as the Chief Minister two years ago. Prior to that, Edappadi would not have even dreamt such a miracle would happen to him.
“Ninety-nine percent people had predicted his government would not last. First, they said 10 days at the most, then they said one month, then four-five months. But the miracle continues even till this day overcoming all the obstacles”, said Rajini before launching his obviously well-rehearsed climax dialogue.
“And tomorrow too….”. A long pause, obviously to trigger wild cheering from the packed audience in the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, then the punch word: “The Miracle will happen”.
The applause could mean they had all come to the conclusion that Rajini was talking about his own political launch “tomorrow”; or else, he was predicting that friend Kamal would make it to the Fort St George soon as the Chief Minister.
In any case, the ‘superstar’ ended up handing out liberal praise for Palaniswami for his gritty innings at the crease — so the AIADMK members were not really justified in reacting angrily at the ‘athisayam-arputham’ tag he had stuck on their CM’s collar. It could be a case of poor interpretation of the actor’s podium script.
The AIADMK had a ready response to Rajini’s remarks, which the leaders interpreted as insulting their Chief Minister.
“Rajini may believe in luck and miracles. His prediction of a future miracle will surely happen and that is, the return of our AIADMK to power in the 2021 elections”, fisheries minister D. Jayakumar said.
“Some people think that they can become prominent by attacking the AIADMK. Many had predicted our party would disappear after Amma’s demise, but her government is firmly in command even now”, he said.