But back in Kollywood it seems to be a different story. More and more stars seem to be attracted to politics like a 'bee to honey', as it were. While Vijayakanth, who is projecting himself as 'another MGR,' the first matinee idol to launch his own party and succeed in a big way in his latest film ''Sudesi'' to make an impact in the coming elections and Karthick playing second fiddle, a few more stars like comedian Senthil, hero-turned-character actor Vijayakumar and Director-actor Manobala have merely enrolled themselves into the AIADMK. There are no new additions as yet to the DMK which already has two big stars Sarat Kumar as a Rajya Sabha MP and Nepolean as the sitting MLA.
Ostensibly, the Kollywood stars have been taking to politics with the intention of doing service to the society. They think that their popularity as 'artistes' makes this easy. But as the Bollywood experience or even instances in Tamil Nadu show, many stars have 'faded away' without accomplishing much, like thespian Sivaji himself, more recently Ramarajan and before him another yesteryear actor S S Rajendran. Rajnikanth at one time seemed poised for the plunge, especially in the 1996 Assembly elections when he took on the present Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, herself a big yesteryear actress. But he backed out after that despite being seen by his fans as a future Chief Minister. His 'pithy dialogue' against her, ''Only God can save Tamil Nadu if she becomes the Chief Minister again'' helped the DMK to sweep back to power. After tasting failure in the 2004 Lok Sabha poll, when he extended support to the BJP in Tamil Nadu, having fallen out with a key DMK ally-PMK, Rajnikanth announced that he would not be supporting anyone in this Assembly poll.
Professors and students of political science are of the opinion that stars enter politics with the intention of making a difference to the people. But things go awry for them after they take the plunge. It is one thing to win an election but another to translate promises into reality, which is what matters, they point out. But in every election in Tamil Nadu, be it Parliament or Assembly, some actor or actress has been attempting to extend his or her popularity to the world of politics either to serve the people of his/her caste or avowedly people in general.
Nila calls the shots