TN CM Karunanidhi, Ajith, Rajini and the end of the world

It’s raining Narcissists in Tamil Nadu recently. I guess that is not news really, isn’t it? Recently Film industry supporters had a celebratory party to thank the Tamil Nadu CM for allocating 90 acres of common man’s land for the workers in the Film Industry. It is not a completely free gift, but a 99 year free lease. But I doubt if you would be able to vacate anyone out of their homes in India, after occupation for 99 years. 90 acres in Chennai does not come cheap! It must be a few thousand crores, unless I missed a digit. I must know because I shelled my life saving to buy a small plot several kilometers from the gifted land, because I could not afford a place in the city. If I had known that the TN CM was going to give away land to homeless in other professions, I would have waited. Students, Plumbers(there is no business due to water shortage), Electricians and  lawyers without cases would be glad to get some expensive land. Don’t we all serve the society in some way?

Do this poor people need Tax Exemption from us?

Do these poor people need Tax Exemption from us?

Well it does not surprise that Film Industry got the special gift as TN CM is also a writer in the Film Industry. Too bad he was not a software Engineer, else all Software Engineers would have also got free homes. The party was not a small party at your friend’s home, when his parents went out-of-station. It was an all out party where Amitabh, Kamal and Rajini shamelessly eulogized the TN CM. Prabhu Deva did the dancing, so did a bevy of Film actresses. And it is said to be relayed in Tamil Channels with much advertising. This is only part of the news. Tamil Film actor Ajith spoke boldly in the celebration that actors were being forcibly invited to functions/events in the name of sudden Tamil causes. Well his angst is totally understandable. He was invited to watch someone else’s birthday party. And he did not get any free home, as has a home of his own. Ajith’s speech was appreciated by a few, notably amongst them Film Actor Rajini Kanth.

Rajini Kanth knows the pain because he was forced to talk about Kaveri water dispute, Srilankan Tamil issue and other minor local street issues(ok, I made the last one up!). Rajini is usually a quiet person who stays away from politics. He even tried to escape abroad when there was a major pressure on him to speak out against the atrocities in old TN CM Jayalitha regime. Unfortunately he was stopped in the Airport by a Sadhu and advised to save the people. He skipped the flight and came back to save the world, err Tamil people. He openly supported DMK and TMC and helped defeat ADMK in 1996. He made a movie about the episode later, called ‘Baba’. TN CM Karunanidhi defended the celebration party saying it was a thankful gesture for all his service to the Film industry. Earlier the TN CM  had withdrawn Entertainment tax for movies made with Tamil names.

Biggest party in Town

Biggest party in Town(Courtesy: Vikatan.com)

Overall the issue raises some important questions. One, How can the CM  gift tax payer’s money freely to someone else? Agreed that the Tamil film Industry is a fragile niche industry, which faces marketing onslaught from English and Hindi movies. The plight of the film workers is not bright since they don’t have medical insurance or retirement benefit or continuous work.  Ideally, every such worker in all industries should have the right to an own home before retirement. But the Tamil Movie makers are like American car companies, they don’t seem to stop making huge gas-guzzling dinosaurs for 30 years waiting to be eaten by the better made efficient Japanese cars. They have been making costly masalas with 5 songs, 3 fights with some overpaid actor and the same story for 30 years. Do movies like those of the Rajini, Vijayakanth, Vijay and Ajith really require tax payers support. A rough estimate states that the top actors draw more than 50% of the cost in salary and distribution rights. Do any of this people look like poor people. Why don’t they reduce their salaries to support their poor co-workers rather than asking for Tax payers money. Shouldn’t they structure the industry efficiently themselves before seeking Tax Payer’s money.  Also shouldn’t Film investors be responsible for the their financial decisions and the risk taken just like other businesses.

The second question is, why don’t you have your parties in your own home. Do we post our home videos of our kid’s birthday parties in Youtube. if you have to record your celebrations why don’t you post it in Youtube with password so that your fans can watch it privately! I understand that politics is a thankless job and an occasional appreciation can do the morale some good. But don’t you think the eras of Kings and open eulogies are over. At least this need not be done under public glare.

Third question is to the Tamil people, why do you expect Filmstars to come on stage and support your cause. Ajith does have a point. They are paid to do a job. They chose acting because of their personal aspiration just like we want to become a lawyer or doctor or businessman. If they wanted to be social leaders they would have become one. Aren’t there enough social leaders to take up social causes. Aren’t they entitled to their own opinions? You can choose to support a cause of your liking, while they can support a cause of their liking. If you are so concerned that they are not loyal to your cause, watch another Tamil movie. I swear you would not have missed much!

Fourth question again to the TN people: Don’t you ever get tired of making political heroes out of your Film stars? As old Tamil actor MR Radha spoke about his profession, “We are  just entertainers. We will dance and sing if you pay us. We are not better people than you are. Stop coming behind us!”. If Clint Eastwood movies were dubbed in Tamil, he would be voted chief minister in Tamil Nadu. After all he is the original guru of style..

Overall it is disgusting to see men with inflated egos fighting for their importance. Well, I am not talking about Shahrukh Khan and Bal Thackeray. But you are open to draw any similarities. And the Tamil film industry better know that there is no such thing as a free lunch!

36 total comments on this postSubmit yours
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  4. @selvaraghavan: Yes castes are a real issue in TN

    @Pandyan: MGR did a few good things and he was not without issues either. They say he tried to have honest governance initially until he realized its futility..

    1. He was a pioneer to Karunanidhi in making money out of Arrack (equivalent of Tasmac). Many families are suffering in villages due to this issues. MGR pioneered this concept of making money from auctioning Arrack shops everywhere..Uneducated Families suffering due to drink problems and govt making money out of it is real abuse..How many educated families have been destroyed due to drinking issues..this is a case of state exploitation..

    2. He also had the honor of bringing his mistresses to work. This included Latha, JJ etc..Imagine taking wifes to office, leave alone mistresses..And now parochial systems have completely taken over TN governance from the democratic days of Anna and kamarajar..

    3. He also unsuccessfully tried to remarkably reduce the reservation to OBCs by putting a cap of Rs 9000 annual income in 1979, which he later backed off and increased for electoral support

    At this point TN needs thinkers/doers and not charismatic actors who take us back in times!

  5. It is very bad that Tamil Nadu is still the honourable the capital of the Caste System. Uthapuram, Keerippatti etc and basically symbols of Shame. In other states, language unites. In Tamil Nadu, only caste unites, which is why Hindi and Telugu speakers get preference. All other state have language movements – KRV in Karnataka, MNS in Maharashtra – good or bad – they are fighting for their language. In TN there is no such movement for Tamil. In TN, you are a Tamil ‘patriot’ by spreading hatred against Tamils. Origin does not matter as you said. But when people claim that Tamil speaking Brahmins are not Tamil whereas others (including Hindi/Urdu speaking Muslims are true Tamils, then time is to question their own identity. Everyone knows Ramadoss or Karunanidhi’s true intentions. Jayalalitha is also no better. In this regard TN really really needs a change, hopefully VIjayaganth or anyone else should come next time.

  6. Selvaragavan – I hope you know the origins of Periyar, MGR and Vaiko. These individuals contributed to the betterment of Tamils more than most native Tamils. The big chunk of what you would call traitors are none other than native Tamils for whome money/power/fame became more prominent that moral values.

  7. there is quite a bit of ‘Telugu origin’ information about him, probably that is not too important… but his indifference and policies, particularly concerning Tamil language, compared to what other states do for their respective language really makes things quite suspicious.

  8. Karunanidhi belongs to Tiruvarur District from Isai vellalar caste or mellakarar (in unsympathetic local jargon)..The community speaks tamil at home! They have a long heritage in Thanjavur music community and the community has been working in temple related work in Thanjavur for centuries..I will be surprised if you have different information about his origins..Tamil Music was looked down upon for long and telugu keerthanas were sung in Temples..The confusion might have started there..

  9. Evidence of Karunanidhi’s Telugu origin. Simple one: Go to Google.com and type Karunanidhi space T…Tamil does not show up, only Telugu, Telugu origin etc show up. OK that means nothing. But MK’s policies dont favour Tamil either. Large percentage of Telugu speakers in TN’s OBC list, debarring of Tamil workers within Tamil Nadu for road and construction projects, even recent example of legislature complex every one from contractors to workers were from North, in fact Tamil workers were not allowed or hired; further examples : One can argue, these are central institutions, so Tamil has a right to banned in these institutions, failed promise of Tamil in-flight announcements (you may re-call DMK election manifesto prior to elections); closure of several Tamil Govt schools instead of funding them, imposition of the Hindi language in TN’s CBSE schools (for a comparison you could compare TN CBSE with Punjab CBSE or Maharashtra CBSE and judge for yourself); granting of fresh licenses to new CBSE schools, TN govt has already washed its hands of CBSE schools, but still creates new ones, conversion of matric to CBSE schools ; disregard for non-use of Tamil in bank ATMs (buy the way, several ATMs across Karnataka do have Kannada options much more than Tamil in TN), non-use of Tamil in govt website (again compare with Karnataka; debarring of Tamils in security position in various institutions like IIT, airport, port etc, non-use of the Tamil language in even basic communication in institutions like CPCL; ). But why cannot one ask, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu cannot even ensure Tamil being used in official communication? Or it may be by design.

  10. Kamal,

    This has nothing to do with language but due to a lack of respect for education/Service, helplessness, low self-esteem, non-analytical decision making and drawing imaginary vicarious pleasure from letting their heroes win in politics..Language alienation has not stopped TN from choosing the best in Software or Industry or literature, so why not in social leadership..

    Movie was a new media that came into the Indian Social setup..most states have addressed the entry of Movies into society more practically and as a matter of entertainment(except TN and Andhra)…Earlier entertainers or entertainment were not looked up or sycophantically followed by Tamils..for that matter
    we could blame the earlier generation for the fascination and lack of a scientific mindset to confuse Movie magic with reality.. But the current generation does not have that excuse. Movie stars don’t have to spend their money for brand building as other profession…There is nothing wrong in expending their brand..But it does go over the top often in TN…

    Trying to build an image based on lies, trying to be a social leader without expressing your social ideas to grow your brand, harvesting the brand and fascination of the people later to capture power are definite unethical and unproductive activities. A secure and ethical man would not do it, which is indeed a rare thing in TN social milieu..The last 4 out of 5 CMs in TN are from Movies..I believe, most actors and politicians are narcissists and suckers to appreciation..actors are more so..And no wonder politicians from film industry are the best entertainers in TN with minimal moral or intellectual stock..

    If it was about language TN could have chosen language experts or intellectuals instead of artists..There is need to differentiate between glamor and leadership..both are attractive, but in terms of depth are very different..

  11. For the ignorant and innocent tamils, cinema heroes are leaders of their country. In the past, Cinema heroes had become statesman and subsequently the ministers of TN legislative assembly.

    All these credits go to the Indian central government(its passion for hindi) and tamilnadu state government(its passion for hindi). Indian parliament speaks in Hindi. Hindi is the language of communication in Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Airforce and Indian Administrative Jobs. But for the students of Tamil nadu, English or Tamil is the medium of education.

    So Many in TN cannot follow the live shows of parliamentary sessions. They need to wait till the parliamentary sessions are translated and broadcasted in tamil dailies. Tamils who get jobs in army find it difficult to excel due to their inadequate language skills. This way, Indian government is very much successful in alienating tamils from the rest of the country for its sheer passion for Hindi.

    Ronin,

    If you want to tell a tamil, that TN is not a country by itself, tell Indian govt to speak in English and stop alienating tamil people, or tell TN govt to introduce Hindi. The people in power need to bother about the integrity of our Country. They don’t have any vision about our country’s integrity. All Indians irrespective of language, caste, relegion, region, colour must feel the sense of belonging to this country. Only then sense of insecurity in minority communities will go away.

    The borders within country based on language are serious threat to our country. The issues like these (ajit’s issue) are just outbursts of suppressed feelings of tamils for their alienation and nothing else.

  12. Abibasha,

    Ajith and Rajini are not my family..They have their own family..Tamil Nadu is not my country and is also not a country..I am only asking Rajini and Ajith to treat their fans equally as they would like to treat their family members..and not as some lifeless marketing tool to expend..

  13. Ajith speach is crect so rajith thank to you well power…..i sopport in Ajith tamil industry please soppot ajith& rajini….. he also you family……….tamil nadu not our country we are country…….this not hiler goverment so please join Ajith & Rajini…….

  14. V Interesting Debate!

    Is Karunanidhi a native Telugu? any evidence..

    Can asking fans tattoo, opening fan clubs in towns, using them to promote their personal causes, coming to power using the Movie-love of people-can it be compared to Arnold or Favre..Is it ethical personally? I know of so many respectable Tamils who would not stoop to that level..including Kamal or Sathyaraj who were first to dismiss their fan clubs..

    Or Californian voters education level, decision making comparable to TN voters decision making?

    Would Tom Cruise or Amitabh call himself Thala or would allow pooja done to himself?

    Would Rajini send his son-in-law or daughter to open a fan club and throwaway their time, garland, shout slogans and dance for another star..All this can only happen in TN

  15. Malar – I agree. If Ajit is not interested in voicing for social causes, he has every right to do so. If he is as bold as some people percieve him, he should have not attended the events no matter what. But he attended those events and tried to derail the cause by being a cry baby. If I am not interested in a charity event, I would say “No Thanks”. Its not appropriate behaviour to attend the event and be a wet towel.

    • He attended because he was forced to attend. If he hadn’t attended then he could have faced dire consequences by the political clouts for failing to keep the promise and nobody would’ve known the importance of not attending such foolish functions. The best is attend the function and give hints about the organisers and make intentions clear and face consequences. He did nothing wrong. It was not cold but very sincere…..

  16. TO MALARTHAMIL: Ajith is non Tamil origin? He is Tamil Brahmin.

    Surely, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi is Telugu origin.

  17. Is Film industry another Mafia being run by the TN CM? Other day some pictures of pretty women came in Dinamalar, the next day police “kidnap” the journalist.

    What is this “compulsory participation” – if some actor does not want to dance or talk, he or she is “chucked out”. This compulsion is making the “industry” another mafia.

    I have question for “Raj Palaniswamy “. Why Ceylon Tamils are put in Concentration Camps in Tamil Nadu? Does TN govt hate Tamils? We have our great “Tamil-loving?” Chief Minister – however why is he getting the pleasure of seeing unfortunate Tamil civilians from the hell neighbour stuck in these stinking camps right in Tamil soil. Everyone knows this – TAMIL NADU IS BIGGEST ILLTREATER OF TAMILS – be it Sri Lankan Tamils, Forward Caste Tamils or Dalit Tamils.

    You mentioned “Tamil’s money” – we know in Tamil Nadu, that Tamil’s money is being used for “Refugee camps” (Concentration camps).

  18. First of all, I suppose a few can’t seem to understand what Ajith/Rajini were trying to say. Ajith never said actors shouldn’t attend those issues. Why only actors??? He claims every industry needs a social responsibilities and most importantly, every citizen too.
    His point is, before govt or political leaders tackle the situation/issue, there are few within the industry who goes overboard just for their personal benefits. Those morons go extreme levels by forcing actors to participate. Recent developments on this issue are crystal clear evident for his stand. He did say that actors may participate out of their own and not by force.
    Ajith also said, if actors do want to make a move to enter politics, there is a force that asks ‘what are you doing here’… If they step aside, there is another gang trying to impose them into these issues.
    So, I think we need to see from their point of view before jump to any conclusions. “Naalu pErukku avangga moonji theriyum-ngrathAla, avangga ellAm karuththu solla koodAthu”…

  19. From ur artical it seems that u r a die hard fan of gay gang leaders ajith and rajini.

  20. Why should we expexct the persons like Ajith and Rajini to associate with emotional issues when they are not passionately connected with it? Ajith and Rajini are of Non Tamil origin. Personally they may not be moved by what happens in Ealem. It is under compulsion they have to issue statements or attend functions.

    malar

    • is language so important that u would stoop low to divide people and expect more privileges than other section of people…. Think about ONE NATION… One PLANET…. ONE UNIVERSE….. Save NATURE…… Just home is private place…..

  21. Californians elected Arnold as their governor. Will Brett Favre get more votes then a regular politician if he contests – Well the possibility is high. Actors and Sports personalities getting an edge over others in politics is a global phenomenon. Let us not fail to appreciate the efforts by numerous folks from the film fraternity in organizing public cause events in the recent times. It shows that they are holding themselves with high morality. We have also seen Actors being called to entertain Soldiers during war time. Acting profession sure, has its perks.

    However, Not just actors, Software Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers and almost everybody from different walks of life took to streets to expose the genocide in Sri Lanka. If Ajit views the Sri Lankan protests as politics, I would not hesitate to stop patronizing his movies. He may have to consider explaining his stance more clearly. I don’t want to patronize any business that would not respect Human life and dignity.

  22. Pithy style of article… very much the flavour of the season!

  23. Giving land to film fraternity “alone” is quite loathsome. If the CM is interested, let him build a land bank for unorganised sector & from there give according to the % of workers. God knows how much money will change hands to those who are alloting it. Does he need all these dances at his age ? Very indecent. God save those poor film stars dancing away in front of him.

    Reg Ajith, he does not stay away from being worshipped, so, he has all the responsibility to talk about social causes as well, as any stupid blind followers of him will listen. He used “Thala” nick name, atleast till his previous movie, & now after several years talking his mind. I think every responsible human being does give back to society – something – which has given him something or the other.

    Oh God, please save Tamilnadu Tamilians from the clutches of silver screen! As an afterthought, along with it, stop all Tamil Channels, except Vijay TV, Makkal TV & Podhigai!!!!

  24. Ajith Is always Geth…….You all Fools Don’t Just Blab On His Activity……He Has The Right To Speak What He Feels…….And Rajni Also Had Given All His Talent To This World…..”A Super Star”……First Of All Just Try To Achieve A Lil Bit And Then Speak……..

  25. Tamil Rain,

    I also support Individual’s point of view..My point is that workers are being helped by the us(the tax payer) while the overpaid stars should try to help their co-workers first..Instead they get the tax exemption built for the poor.Throwing away such Sop to some profession need to be discussed in people’s forums..but that is asking for too much isn’t it?

    Our actors are not as innocent as I make them out to be, doing their job and going home..They don’t stop from using their brand names to promote their personal leadership causes, amongst easily impressionable people who get attracted in real life based on reel life..

    In that way, The north Indian heroes are much better and harmless professionals than our heroes..For that matter, TN is the only Indian state in India where film stars are so god-worshiped..I don’t know of any such movie industry in world where young able men open fan clubs in every town, conduct poojas and tattoo themselves etc..Whose fault is it when the star keeps his personal priorities in mind, while the fan does not?

  26. I don’t understand one thing.

    Films are being made to entertain the people. People come to watch films to enjoy. Some noble creators in film industry use this medium to spread valid messages to the humanity. If something bad happens to people, why you are expecting Film industry people to come and participate? As Ajith mentioned, these issues has to be dealt by Govt and Politicians. Even many of film directors, actor and actresses become poor and unnoticed after some years of film life due to tough competitions and high demand on Success. Are the same people audience who watching their films coming forward to help those poor film industry people? Answer is a BIG no. Then why the hell we, the people expect every time the film industry people’s point of view whenever some crisis happen in their day to day social life.

    Ajith’s speech clearly projects about individual freedom in expressing their involvement and point of views. Rajini in-time support simply reveals that whatever Ajith says is 100% true.

    When Tsunami hit TN shore areas badly, no top level people in TN film industry came forward and visit the shore places. All they did was meeting the current CM during that time and donate the money. That’s about it. Did you people question them why they didn’t turn to the places where people got lost their life and wealth?

    I do not think that Ajit’s speech will impact his producer’s investment because every people nowadays do not carry their mind sets when they want to go for a film. Its few people who wants to use their biased stand in each and every place and try to divide people.

  27. Everyone,

    Your point about Ajith and Rajini are like those of a jilted lover(no malice, just humor)..”I loved him, but he did not love me”

    We cant expect them to be the way we expect them to be..Hurtful but true!

    Regards,

  28. Thanks for the compliments and brickbats..

  29. Ronin, This is a good article that you pointed out the useless wastage of time money and energy for a person who is supposed to be busy solving the problem of people for which he is elected. But that has never been the case with politicians and so does with this man. Leaving that aside, your opinion about Ajit, is quite unacceptable. Popular actors like Ajit and Rajini earn money just because their performance is like by people. By simply stating that acting is like any other job, you (and Ajit in fact) losing out a basic point. What is the real asset of these actors? It is the POPULARITY and RECOGNITION amongst the people. These actors minus popularity and recognition is zero business. ( please note that i am not talking about films with strong story line, that run successfully in spite of having little known actors) It only means people adore them and consider them close to their heart. An electrician or a postman does not remain close to the heart of millions of people. When they use these emotional attachment for the promotion of their film, it is totally unfair to turn back when they are expected to voice for the common cause. You cannot escape this responsibility when you are public figure.

  30. Rajni being paid in crores is a good thing.

    Unlike the north indian stars he doesn’t dress himself in Gucci and roam around in Bentley and have snobby habits like collecting expensive watches. Unlike Kamalhassan he doesn’t blow up crores of money in the name of development of art. Heck, the man leads a much simpler life than most of our IT hypocrites.

    Rajni certainly doesn’t look like a man desperate for materialistic pursuits, so possibly, a bulk of his earnings are going into philanthropy and that’s the good thing.

  31. Ronin,
    I don’t know how you can justify Ajith’s stand. Actors cannot be compared with normal plumbers or electicians. No one would call a electricain to give a statement in the media. But actors will be called as they represent the whole of the society (at least for Indian population). When Ajith could survive on Tamil’s money, he also got the moral responsibity to voice for their cause. He cannot act as a child complaining to the teacher about a classmate. He is matured enough to know what is right and wrong. If he does’nt want to voice for the public issues, then he morally loses his right to act as a mass hero in TN. He would rather prefer to act as a comedian and no one would bother to call him on the stage (ofcourse now he is a comedian). He did not voice for the Eelam Tamils as well . So did Mr Old Turkey who did not voice for the Tamils when he was supposed to. On the whole, Rajini , Ajith, Mr. Old Turkey all of them stand in the same line.

  32. Ronin – Ajith not interested in participating in national/regional/humanitarian/any public issues is his own prerogative. However it does not make business sense to ignore the plight of your customers. He is putting his producers money at risk by stating his personal preferences especially on sensitive public cause issues – I am referring to the Sri Lankan issue and not the CM party.

    By applauding Ajith’s speech – Rajini proves again that he is the lord of confusion.

    CM giving away land to movie industry workers – purely nonsensical decision. I dont know how they get approval for such schemes.

  33. The ony person with an inflated ego who seems to be crying form some attention is the chump who has writtent the above article.

  34. Good one. Don’t stop writing. Its really nice. People have to grow. I am happy for the younger generation.

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