- Superstar Rajinikanth has said he's readying for politics
- He will drive a lot of change, says wife Lata, but offers no date
- Actor Kamal Haasan has also said he will launch a political outfit
It was in May that Rajinikanth, whose legions of adoring fans call him "Thalaivar" or "Ultimate Boss", disclosed that he was looking to turn into a double threat as superstar and politician. The 66-year-old has since made a series of cryptic references to his plans, asking fans to "ready for war" against what he described as a rotten and corrupt political ecosystem in Tamil Nadu, and ceding that he is in talks with different parties about his plans.
For Tamil cinema fans who want larger roles for their stars, this year has turned into a gold rush. Kamal Haasan, who alone nears the stature of Rajinikanth, has announced that he is heading into active politics. Haasan, who says the current Tamil Nadu government of the AIADMK is driven entirely by self-interest, has given a clearer indication of his plans, stating that he is ready to serve as Chief Minister and committing to finding "young and fresh faces" and crowd-funding for a political entity that he says could draw from the learnings of the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP. Its leader, Arvind Kejriwal, was invited to lunch at Haasan's Chennai home late last month; the actor said he could imbibe some of AAP's political start-up culture, but said there will be no formal tie-up with the outfit.
Like Rajinikanth, he did not indicate when he will debut his new career.
Over the weekend, both stars were at the opening of a memorial in Chennai for legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan. Being a celebrity isn't enough to be a political hotshot, Rajinikanth said, wryly adding, "something else is needed...what that is only the public knows." Perhaps Haasan is in the know, he joked, adding "if I ask him now, he will say 'come with me and you will find out'".