At Lal Salaam event, Rajinikanth noted that a movie like Lal Salaam was the need of the hour amid growing intolerance and distrust among people belonging to different faiths.
At the Lal Salaam audio release event, Superstar Rajinikanth revealed that he had vowed never to act in a movie made by close relatives, including his daughters. However, the 2014 animation film Kochadaiiyaan and the 2024 social-political drama Lal Salaam were the only exceptions to that rule.
Rajinikanth explained that his doctors had advised him to stay mentally active when he was undergoing treatment for a serious medical condition about 10 years ago. Given that Kochadaiiyaan used motion-capture technology and it was not physically demanding, he agreed to act under his daughter Soundarya's direction. And he made another exception for Aishwarya's Lal Salaam because he felt an urgent need to amplify the message of communal harmony in the country.
"I suggested Aishwarya cast a big actor in the role of Moideen Bhai. Even after two weeks, she had not found the actor for the role. So I decided to take on the role myself," he revealed.
When Rajinikanth offered to play Moideen Bhai in the movie, Aishwarya thought he was joking. And he had to repeat himself once again to make her understand that he was serious about the offer.
Rajinikanth noted that a movie like Lal Salaam was the need of the hour amid growing intolerance and distrust among people belonging to different faiths.
He made a lengthy speech at the Lal Salaam event explaining the importance and purpose of religions for humans to live a happy and peaceful life, while also highlighting how religions were being misused to create conflicts among people.
"All religions were created to help humans understand God and realise the God within themselves. Knowing God is different, understanding is different and realising is different," Rajinikanth explained.
He noted that global religious figures such as Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha showed that everyone can achieve great things like them if they also follow in their path. "For every religion, there was a founder, except for the Hindu religion. This is Sanatana Dharma, which means puratana (ancient). Vedas were the sounds produced by sages when they were in a deep trance. It's not easy to understand the Vedas, so they simplified them and turned the essence of the Vedas into Upanishads. That became Thathwamasi, 'I am that.' I am not this body, I am not this mind. I'm that. I am one with the universe. And since Upanishads were also difficult to understand, it was simplified into Bhagavad Gita. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is not a god but a supreme consciousness. And Arjuna is mortal, a consciousness. Bhagavad Gita is about super consciousness speaking with consciousness," explained Rajinikanth.
He suggested that while religions were created to benefit humanity, they have now become sources of conflict and pain because some people have wrong interpretations of them. Rajnikanth also backed his statement with a fable, highlighting the purpose of religion, which is to learn how to keep one's ego in check.
"There is a single-track road. Only one can travel on that road. But, two people come from opposite directions on that road. And those two are good people, who are not salve to their egos. They both respectfully make way for each other and continue on their path. And that single-lane road now became a three-way path. Two other people came on the same road from opposite directions. One is a good man, and the other is egoistic and selfish. The good one gave way to the other and found a new path. Now, that road become a two-way path. And two more people met on that road, both were selfish and demanded first right to the path. They both don't give way to each other and are also blocking other people from accessing that road. That's what is now happening. Some people keep arguing that I am the bigger one; I am superior to the other," rued Rajinikanth.
He emphasised that he decided to become part of this movie to amplify this message of communal harmony. "Ramkrishna Paramhans has said that many religions may come and go, but the religions which have justice, truth and honesty will stand for centuries. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism have stood the test of time because they all have these qualities. And everyone can follow their path, along with others," he added.
Lal Salaam is due in February 9.