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This week we celebrate Rajinikanth whose birthday is a cause for joy for lakhs of people.

inmathi.com has generally been critical of him. We attacked him for suddenly becoming pro-government before every movie release of his. We concluded he does this to wangle tax concessions for the tickets of his movies. We have attacked him for not playing roles true to his age and also for not standing by director Rudraiah. But today we salute Rajini.

He may have looked anything but a hero when he came to movies. But to Tamil men and women that only made him their hero. A man drawn from their ranks but packing a punch.

A measure of how much love he commands from his fans is that our critical articles on Rajini do not draw much traffic. For his down to earthiness, charisma, and for his speaking from his heart, Tamils love their Rajini. Some of the festive buzz he draws maybe Tamils just indulging themselves. He may be Maharashtrian but in Tamil Nadu identity is lived, not born into. MGR was Malayali and Vijayakanth is Telugu. But their Tamilness was never in doubt, so is Rajini’s identity.

He may have looked anything but a hero when he came to movies. But to Tamil men and women that only made him their hero. A man drawn from their ranks but packing a punch

Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in 1950, Rajini has acted in more than 160 films in Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and English. He joined the Rs 100 crore club with the 2007 movie Sivaji. Rajini’s Enthiran and its sequel 2.0 turned out to be the most expensive Tamil film productions until then and they also earned the name of India’s highest grossing films. Rajini is also recipient of numerous awards including Government of India’s Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibushan. Rajini’s political entry was anticipated by his fans ever for long. But he decided against it and dissolved all his Rajini Makkal Mandrams in July 2021.

It was a huge disappointment for his fans and followers. Yet, Rajinikanth is Thalaivar for thousands of his fans. He just turned one year older today. Age is just a number for his fans as they eagerly anticipate the announcement of his next film.


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