Superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday joined his colleagues in Chennai in a silent protest organised by the South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA), popularly known as Nadigar Sangam. The protest is observed in support of ongoing agitations in Tamil Nadu for the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CBM) and against the Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi.
Before heading out to the protest, Rajinikanth briefly addressed the media outside his residence at the Poes Garden and made some quick comments about the pressing political issues of the state.
Expressing his unhappiness about the Centre’s delay in implementing the Apex Court judgment, Rajinikanth said, “The Centre is wasting time instead of forming the Cauvery board as per the Supreme Court directions. I’d like to tell the Centre that, what every Tamilan unanimously wants is CBM. If you don’t set up the board at the earliest, you will be subjected to the anger and disappointment of every Tamilan.”
He also said people from different walks of life have been protesting across Tamil Nadu for the welfare of poor farmers. “To many, it’s unclear who we are protesting for. We are not protesting for the benefits of rich farmers with hundreds of acres of land. We are doing it for poor farmers whose livelihood depends on the farm produce they make from a small piece of land they own,” he added.
“We have to make such farmers the face of this protest. We should show to people the problems, agony, living conditions, and tears of such farmers. Even if the politicians in Karnataka don’t understand their pain, the poor farmers in that state will understand. And it will strengthen our protest.”
On Sterlite issue, Rajinikanth said, “Nature and the God are one. Nature is made up of five elements; water, earth, space, fire, and air. And a human body is made up of four of these elements. If we spoil any one of them, it will lead to the destruction of the world and human race. We should not allow anything that pollutes, water, earth, and air. Even if it generates hundreds of crores of income for the government or creates thousands of jobs for the people, we should not give place for such schemes.”
He added, “The people who run such industries and factories will be able to make a lot of money but they won’t have peace of mind.”
He also noted that he was not completely against the industries. He suggested that he will be okay with industries that don’t threaten the safety of the environment.
The Kaala star said it was a not a good idea to hold Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Tamil Nadu, at a time when the entire state was protesting for Cauvery. “It is an embarrassment to think of IPL at the present situation in the state. At least the members of the Chennai Super Kings should wear a black armband during matches to express solidarity with the protesting groups,” he said.
When Rajinikanth was asked to share his thoughts on Kamal Haasan’s comments about whether he will oppose him if he takes up ‘spiritual politics’, the 67-years-old superstar said, “I won’t oppose Kamal Haasan. He is not my enemy. Poverty, corruption, unemployment, tears of the poor and farmers are my enemies.”