Politics of change is needed in Tamil Nadu and Rajnikanth has a slot to fill , if only he can have the acumen and standards that are now expected by the people.
( CDecember 31, 2017, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) With much fanfare Rajnikanth has announced that he would form a political party and contest in the next assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. Of course, predictably his announcement has received both bouquets and birck bats.
The political observers now wonder whether this move of Rajnikanth would contribute to healthy growth of politics in Tamil Nadu or would end up as a damp squib , similar to other cinema actors venturing to start political parties and vanishing from the political scene before long.
All said and done, there is chaotic political scenario in Tamil Nadu today, with major parties desperately seeking support of the fringe groups to remain relevant. The corruption scandal faced by several political leaders have made people lose confidence that any of the present political parties and leadership in Tamil Nadu would provide a clean and progressive governance. Certainly, the politicians in the state today remain as suspected and tainted by corruption, casteism and narrow chauvinism . The recent victory of a person accused of corruption and facing charges in the R K Nagar poll has caused huge concern about the direction that the Tamil Nadu politics is taking.
Given such gloomy scenario, cross section of people in Tamil Nadu think that a new untainted political leadership, even if untested, is the need of the day. It appears that people would be willing to give the benefit of doubt to the new leadership ,as the existing political parties have left the people in disgust.
One pre condition for a big bang entry in politics for a person is a familiar face to the people . Rajnikanth has this asset. Possibly, this is the only political asset that he has as of now.
Rajnikanth is certainly a person untested in politics. One cannot even be sure that he has sound knowledge about the various industrial, economic and financial problems of the state and the way to resolve them. He is known only as a cinema actor acting under the guidance and direction of the cinema director and perhaps, as a religious person acting under the guidance and directions of the religious guru.
Nobody really knows as to whether he has any economic and social policy programmes and perhaps, he has to seek guidance and advice from others to frame his views, just as he has been seeking guidance as an actor and religious person.
In any case, there is no doubt that he is starting on a clean slate as far as his entry into politics is concerned. His fortunes would depend on how he would conduct and shape himself in the forthcoming months before the next Tamil Nadu assembly elections, after the initial euphoria. He may have some game plans , which are now left to the guess of everyone.
Rajnikanth has now an opportunity . While the challenges are severe, what he needs is a strong think tank that has long term vision instead of focusing on casteist and appeasement oriented politics . He also needs knowledgeable and matured spokespersons who will be different and better from the spokes persons of other political parties who often focus more on making noise than speaking sense.
Finally, people , by and large, hate family oriented political parties, where nobody will have claim on leadership except wife, son , daughter , nephew or niece. He should firmly keep his family members out of his political party and to what extent he would be able to do so remain to be seen.
Politics of change is needed in Tamil Nadu and Rajnikanth has a slot to fill , if only he can have the acumen and standards that are now expected by the people. If he would follow the beaten track of Tamil Nadu politics then he will have to leave the political scene much sooner than the time he took to contemplate and enter politics.