Editorial: Political Kurukshetra

People who are okay when Rajinikanth praises leaders like Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi, Stalin, Anbumani and Seeman, get upset when he says something positive about either the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The latest episode of the superstar likening Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Lord Krishna and Arjuna proves this once again. On Sunday, speaking at the launch of a book chronicling the two years of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu in office, Rajini hailed the decision to abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and described Modi and Amit Shah as Krishna and Arjuna.

“My heartfelt congratulations to Amit Shah for Mission Kashmir. Hats off,” he said, and also compared the Modi-Shah duo to Lord Krishna and Arjuna, whose combination is credited with having played a key role in Pandavas’ victory over Kauravas in the Mahabharata war. “However, we don’t know who is Krishna and who is Arjuna,” added the actor, who said in December 2017 that he would launch his political party and contest the 2021 Assembly elections in Tamilnadu. “Only they know who is Krishna and who is Arjuna,” he said. These remarks of his have earned him criticism from various quarters, with the Tamilnadu unit of the Congress taking serious exception.

Tamilnadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri said he did not expect such a reaction from him, adding that he was surprised by it. States including those in the northeast enjoyed special privileges like Kashmir did (previously), he said in a statement, and wanted to know why these were not scrapped by the Centre. The Congress leader wanted to know if the actor toed the ‘one kind of justice for Kashmir and another for other States,’ policy of Shah. Modi and Shah combine are not Krishna and Arjuna, he said, and asked: ‘How can those who snatched away the rights of crores of people be Krishna and Arjuna? Dear Mr Rajinikanth, please read Mahabharata again, please go through it again properly,’ he added. Everyone is entitled to have his/her opinion and Alagiri should recall that the same Rajinikanth praised Rahul Gandhi a few months ago.

NT Bureau