Express News Service
The two major stars of Kollywood — Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan — are the latest entrants to Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. But actor R Sarathkumar was someone who is into politics for at least the last one decade and served as an MLA and MP. He is now leading the party he founded – All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi.
In a freewheeling chat with S Kumaresan, he talks about the ambitions he has for his party and his take on actors entering politics. His message for new entrants is clear: Soon after they enter the politics, they would realise that, unlike cinema, there can be no “sudden stars” in politics.
Q: What is your plans for 2019 Lok Sabha polls?
We have identified 130 potential candidates to contest the polls across the State. These people have the guts to deal the issues faced by public. We are working towards identifying grass-root level leaders. We are also looking forward for an alliance with like-minded people and parties.
Q: Will the alliance be like a third front?
May be. A united front of regional parties would help to strengthen the voices of regional parties. By this we can get our due share without having to beg the Central government.
Q: But some feel that a third front would only end up helping the BJP?
It is a myth as in Tamil Nadu BJP has no presence. So, how can it be benefited if there is a third front in the State.
Q: What plans you have to make youth join politics?
That’s our prime agenda. We are working towards making youth involved in politics. We should make them aware about the existing dynamic leaders who are already in politics, rather than looking for leaders from outside.
Q: What is your opinion on people from outside the State aiming to become Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu?
From my experience, mere popularity is not going to help in politics. Shahrukh Khan used Rajini’s popularity to make his “Lungi dance” song popular. So, if Rajini thinks he is popular across the country, will he dare to contest in Maharashtra? In those States, the service done by a person to society is more valued than mere popularity. And what I want to say is to rule Tamil Nadu one should know and have an attachment to Tamil tradition, culture and practice.