Tamil stars choose to lie low this election season

Tamil cinema and politics have gone hand in hand for decades and the film industry has actually provided five chief ministers to the state. ...

Tamil cinema and politics have gone hand in hand for decades and the film industry has actually provided five chief ministers to the state. Over the years, actors have courted politicians and vice versa and this wooing gets very blatant during the elections. Curiously, this time, even as campaigning for the parliamentary elections gathers steam, top Tamil actors are taking care to maintain a low profile.

This is in stark contrast to their Tollywood counterparts who are making their political ambitions quite evident by launching their own parties or meeting top politicians to offer their support. Recently, Pawan Kalyan launched his political outfit Jana Sena while Nagarjuna met Narendra Modi.

Political observers feel that this sudden interest Tollywood actors are showing in politics arises out of the confusion that exists in the state after plans of bifurcation. No party or leader in the state currently holds sway over the masses and actors are trying to build a following for themselves in politics in this climate of uncertainty.

However, in Tamil Nadu, the case is quite the opposite, say political pundits. Given the influence that certain parties hold, they say actors have become wary of earning their wrath. They cite the example of actor Vijay, whose film Thalaivaa faced hurdles releasing in the state, after the actor allegedly made political statements against the government. Having burnt his fingers, industry insiders say that Vijay has asked members of his Makkal Iyakkam to keep a low profile.

The other example that is being given is that of actor Vadivelu, who, after campaigning for a party in the previous state assembly elections, became a pariah in the industry. With his return to the big screen after two years, Jagajala Pujabala Tenaliraman, slated for release in April, the actor has, this time, refrained from campaigning, despite being wooed by certain parties.

Rajinikanth, who has openly urged his fans in the past to vote for particular parties, too has Kochadaiiyaan up for release, and is staying neutral, despite political leaders like Alagiri ‘meeting’ with him.

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan, who has always maintained that he doesn’t want to enter politics, has shot for a PSA urging people to vote. Ajith, who hasn’t associated himself with any party, remains apolitical and so do other top stars like Suriya, Karthi and Vikram.

This has left this election season decidedly less starry with only fading stars and veterans like Vijayakanth, Sarath Kumar, Karthik and Khushbu going on the campaign trail.

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