Before Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Tamil cinema’s contribution to Indian politics

Written by Manoj Kumar R
| Chennai |
Published:September 21, 2017 2:02 pm

Cinema and politics in Tamil Nadu have enjoyed a deep, long and thriving relationship for several decades.

Kamal Haasan has been creating waves in the political spectrum with his broad hints concerning his much-awaited political entry. The latest remarks of Kamal Haasan has only made it clear that it was not the question of whether he will take the plunge into active politics but it was rather a matter of time before he announces the decision. He was even set to beat Superstar Rajinikanth in this respect. For more than 20 years, Rajinikanth has been keeping the people of Tamil Nadu, national and regional parties and political observers guessing on his much-discussed political debut.

Kamal Haasan Kamal Haasan (Photo credit: Express Archive)

Kamal, in the last few months, has been more clear about his political aspirations than his onscreen rival and off-screen friend of almost 50 years, Rajinikanth. Cinema and politics in Tamil Nadu have enjoyed a deep, long and thriving relationship for several decades now. In no other state in the country, a film industry plays such an important role in influencing the course of the state’s politics. Tamil cinema’s contribution to politics has been remarkable. Some of the most influential and popular politicians of Tamil Nadu had been associated with the film industry. Here is a look at the popular personalities that ruled both the big screens and assemblies.

Rajinikanth. Rajnikanth Rajinikanth (Photo credit: Express Archive)

CN Annadurai, the first chief minister of Tamil Nadu and the first member of Dravidian Party member to hold that position, was a popular writer in Tamil cinema. He had written story, screenplay and dialogues for several movies and plays.

M Karunanidhi ruled the hearts and minds of people with his prowess in Tamil language by writing powerful stories and dialogues for movies. He later went on assume the chief minister’s post five times.

MG Ramachandran MG Ramachandran (Photo credit: Express Archive)

MG Ramachandran was the first actor in India to become the chief minister of a state. He founded AIADMK party and remained a chief minister until his death.

J Jayalalithaa J Jayalalithaa (Photo credit: Express Archive)

J Jayalalithaa was known as Kavarchi Kanni, a title she earned for her glamorous on-screen roles before she became Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (revolutionary leader). She was a formidable force in Indian politics until she died last year.

Vijayakanth, who made a career fighting Pakistani terrorists on the big screen, floated his own political party DMDK and contested elections in 2006. He became a leader of opposition in 2011 winning more votes than DMK. However, in 2016, he lost his seat and deposit, thanks to his public display of ill-temperament.

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