CHENNAI: Actor Rajinikanth today sought to snatch away that party’s biggest asset- the MGR legacy. He also sought to occupy the leadership vaccum caused by J Jayalalithaa’s death and M Karunanidhi’s retirement.
“I am not MGR, but I can give you a rule like MGR’s, a rule for the poor,” said Rajini at MGR Educational and Research Institute.
Rajinikanth urged the Tamil youth to learn English. “For success in any profession, you need English proficiency. Learn the language. Just by speaking Tamil, the language doesn’t grow. For the language to grow, you should grow,” he said. He promised to use technology and seek expert advice to provide a rule as good as MGR’s.
On a personal note, Rajinikanth continued: “My marriage to Latha would not have been possible without MGR. I couldn’t have built Raghavendra marriage hall without MGR. When I was hospitalised for two months in 1978 after a nervous breakdown, chief minister MGR saw to it that I recovered well.”
Almost every minute of half-an-hour speech had the name MGR; using such encomiums as ‘yuga purushan’, ‘deiva piravi’, ‘marma manidhan’ and ‘maaya manidhan’ triggering repeated rounds of applause. “It would be foolish for one to assume that he can become like MGR. There will be no one like him for another 1,000 years.”
Rajinikanth said Shanmugam has virtually turned the function into an election rally. “I was not going to talk politics as this is an educational institution. But Shanmugam, my friend of 30 years, lit the fire.” Sharing the dais with Rajinikanth was former Chennai mayor and AIADMK leader Saidai Duraiswamy.