Politics in the south has always had a tryst with cine world, it has been as spicier and colourful as the movies itself and it was no different when Chiranjeevi announced the name of his political party “Praja Rajyam” or “people’s reign” to a huge gathering of over 800,000 people. Chiranjeevi’s foray into politics was imminent, given his huge popularity and the lure of power which drives every successful individual. Chiranjeevi did seek opinion from political pundits and friends before taking this decision.
On 26th August, 2008, Chiranjeevi unveiled the name of his party ‘Praja Rajyam’ and the party’s symbol which is a rising sun over paddy fields symbolising the grass root levels at which his party would be focussing. Chirnajeevi’s fans have been gunning for his foray into politics and are confident that he can repeat the magic of the late N T Rama Rao who had stormed to power within nine months of floating the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and ended Congress monopoly in the state in 1983. ‘Chiru’ as he’s popularly known as sent the political parties tongues wagging when he initially announced his interests about entering politics. Political parties including CPI (M) and Mayawati has evinced interest in working with the superstar, after all everybody is aware of crowd-pulling capacity of Chiranjeevi.
This is what Chiranjeevi had to say while launching his party ‘I will do things differently so that the benefits of development reach the last man in the queue. Andhra Pradesh is the richest state but its people are the poorest. I will work to fill the growing gap between the rich and the poor. After 30 years in the glamorous film world, I have decided that my path goes towards politics to serve the people. I dedicate myself to the service of the people’. Asked whether he would do a film again, he quipped ‘I am not closing the door on acting. If a serious and educative film comes my way and it has a message for the people, I will definitely do it’.
Southern India has seen many cine stars make it to the top of regional politics, N T Rama rao, popularly known as NTR served as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for three times. MG Ramachandran also popularly known as MGR was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1977 until his death. J. Jayalalithaa made her career in tamil movies before jumping into politics, her party AIADMK, founded by her mentor MGR is the only party of significance challenging the DMK rule in Tamil Nadu. Rajnikanthhas been dilly-dallying with politics since 1995; he’s been involved in the political arena in some way or the other. Rajkumar, popular kannada actor also had many chances to stray into politics, but ultimately shied away from it.
The trust of so many people depend on these larger-than-life figures when they take on roles of greater social responsibility and history has shown (MGR & NTR) that they don’t disappoint when it comes to delivering. Hope, the people of Andhra Pradesh get lucky second time around with Chiranjeevi.