Chennai: Superstar Rajinikanth once again caused a mini political storm in Tamil Nadu when he warmly complimented home minister Amit Shah for the success of ‘Mission Kashmir’ and likened his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the bonding between Krishna and Arjuna.
His words, doused in warmth and admiration, while speaking at the release of the book titled ‘Listening, Learning, and Leading’ on the extensive engagement of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu with the people, at once triggered a hot debate if the star standing at the precipice of the promised political launch would soon dive into the saffron waters.
In his super-brief speech, starting in Tamil and then switching to English so that Shah on the dais could understand, Rajinikanth said, “My heartfelt congratulations for your Mission Kashmir, the operation; and specially the speech you delivered in Parliament, just fantastic, fantastic. Now people come to know who he is, Amit Shah. I am happy about it.
“Amit Shahji and Modiji are like Krishna and Arjuna. We don’t know who is Krishna and who is Arjuna. They (Modi and Shah) only know who is Krishna and who is Arjuna (laughs). So I wish you good luck and to the country through you”.
While Shah appeared pretty pleased at the superstar's endorsement of Mission Kashmir, at a time when most political leaders in Tamil Nadu, barring those from the AIADMK, have heaped hard criticism on the Kashmir operation, the audience repeatedly burst into applause. Predictably, the Tamil TV channels went into the hyper mode in raising speculation if this was the first step towards Rajinikanth's political launch and would he tie the knot with the BJP. The social media was even more excited on the issue.
“Clearly he supports abrogation of #Article370. Point is not about praising ppl who are on stage at a function where he is a guest. Issue is what he is praising them abt. He cd have said so many niceties without taking a political position on #Kashmir. That he chose to is significant”, said political analyst Dr Sumanth C Raman. He was heavily trolled in quick time, with several twitterati demanding to know what's wrong in Rajinikanth supporting Shah-Modi.
A few also recalled that the star had heaped praise on Congress leader P.Chidambaram at the latter's book release function some time ago, and that he had hailed the late DMK leader M Karunanidhi when he shared the dais with him. And he did not join either party.
In all the din, Rajinikanth's praise of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu got lost. He said he knew him for about 25 years and found him highly committed towards the people's welfare. “My first impression was that he was in politics by accident and he did not belong to the political arena as he was completely a spiritual person, detached from everything and only concerned about the people's welfare”.
Luckily, the media did not pick that up and raise yet another hot debate whether Rajinikanth considered spirituality anathema to politics and in that case what happens to his promise of practising 'aanmeega arasiyal' (spiritual politics) when he makes his political plunge finally....