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Rajinikanth: A Life

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Item Code: HAL274
Author: Vaasanthi
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9789390652105
Pages: 277
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 390 gm
Book Description
About The Book

Superstar Rajinikanth defies all conventional analyses-no one has reigned supreme for as long as he has in the world of Indian cinema. With over 150 films under his belt, many of them blockbusters, he still plays the hero at seventy, and the devotion of his legions of fans has not waned during the forty-odd years of his stardom.

In a state that saw the Dravidian self-respect movement propagate atheism, fans worship his cut-outs and bathe them with milk and beer, as if he were their god. In a society famous for its pride in its language, it is curious that a Kannadiga whose family hails from Maharashtra, an outsider, should emerge as a 'thalaivar, or leader. With the death of the charismatic J. Jayalalithaa, a former actor, and M. Karunanidhi, who was a scriptwriter for films- leaders of the AIADMK and DMK respectively (the two main Dravidian political parties that have been ruling Tamil Nadu for more than sixty years)- Rajinikanth's fans believed there was a political vacuum that only he could fill. While the actor has been dabbling in politics, by making pronouncements on certain issues, including Jayalalithaa's policies, the Cauvery water sharing problem between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, bomb attacks in the state and so on, it was only in 2017 that he promised to form his own party and contest all 234 seats in the 2021 assembly elections. For decades, his fans had been awaiting this moment, believing that he could solve all their problems and give them a life free from strife and governance free of corruption. His fan clubs went into high gear to turn themselves into the foundation of their thalaivar's political party, attracting more members and working on the ground all over the state.

For three years, every utterance of Rajinikanth's was analysed and debated even more vociferously than anything he had said in the past. Political opponents questioned his experience and pointed out that (even after forty years) he was an outsider who did not understand the undercurrents of Tamil Nadu politics: his detractors criticized the lack of a clear ideology behind his promise of 'spiritual politics', political analysts who saw that Rajini was close to the BJP anticipated that he might enter into an alliance with them, allowing the right wing party a foothold in the state. Ultimately, however, the seventy year-old superstar withdrew from the political arena citing health concerns. The fans were hugely disappointed but understanding. With their continuing support and excitement for the next Rajini-starrer, he remains a giant in the field of entertainment.

Rajinikanth: A Life is the best account yet of the man who was born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad-once a coolie and a bus conductor in Bangalore and now virtually a god in Tamil Nadu.

About the Author

VAASANTHI is a renowned author and journalist who writes in English and Tamil. She has been writing in Tamil for more than forty years and has published thirty novels, six short-story collections, four volumes of journalistic articles, and four travelogues. Her books in English include Cut-outs, Caste and Cine Stars: The World of Tamil Politics, Amma: Jayalalithaa's Journey from Movie Star to Political Queen, The Lone Empress: A Portrait of Jayalalithaa, and Karunanidhi: The Definitive Biography. She was the Editor of the Tamil edition of India Today for nearly ten years in Chennai. She now works as a freelance writer and journalist and lives in Delhi..

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