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Rajinikanth, a powerful force checked by humility

With Jailer, Rajinikanth proved that his charm and onscreen magnetism are timeless and that his films will always command a sizable market, irrespective of his age.

Rajinikanth, a powerful force checked by humility
Rajinikanth turns 73.

Last Updated: 12.22 PM, Dec 12, 2023


Superstar Rajinikanth turns 73 on December 12, 2023. He was 25 years old when he made his screen debut with Apoorva Raagangal in 1975 and the Indian film industry hasn't been the same since. Even though the bulk of his work remains in Tamil, his influence echoes in every part of the country. 

The last few years have particularly been challenging for Rajinikanth. His films post-Petta (2019) didn't do well both commercially and critically, sparking the same-age-old question: Has Rajinikanth's stardom lost its charm? Once again, he proved his naysayers wrong with his latest movie, Jailer, which sold more than Rs 600 crore worth of tickets worldwide. The latest success adds more credence to Neelambari's observation in Padayappa, "Vayasanalum un style'um azhagum unna vittu pogala (time hasn't diminished your style and beauty). 

With Jailer, he provided that his charm and onscreen magnetism are timeless and that his films will always command a sizable market, irrespective of his age. Amid the ever-changing cinematic landscape, Rajinikanth stands as a consistent force, his enduring resilience portraying an invincible image to the world, even as he remains acutely aware of the transient nature of success. The crown of India's biggest movie star sits lightly on his distinguished career.


"The banners will come down; the posters will be torn off the walls. The one who climbs up on top will have to climb down. Now, I am on top, but one day or another, I will come down. That's fate; that's nature. This is not permanent," Rajinikanth said in one of his speeches during the 1990s, when his stardom soared to its pinnacle. He made this speech at a time when his influence in Tamil Nadu was so profound that many believed he could win elections and form a government if he entered politics.

It's very easy for mortals to be carried away by such frantic adulation and outright surrender to one's personality. But Rajinikanth displayed an uncommon humility in the face of such widespread worship. When the world granted him permission and the power to claim whatever he desired, he chose to step back. Mindful of the potential impact of his stardom, he wielded his influence with great caution to prevent harm to others.

Rajinikanth in Sivaji: The Boss
Rajinikanth in Sivaji: The Boss

"Even if we don't help others, we should not cause them any misery. We should live our lives as good human beings and leave (this planet)," Rajinikanth expressed.

He didn't just preach grand philosophies of the world and detachment from materialism; he has been living by these principles. To put it like Gandhi, Rajinikanth's life is his message to the world. 

Rajinikanth's most significant contribution to humanity extends beyond his films or charitable endeavours. It lies in his ability to restrain his superhuman influence, safeguarding it from falling into the wrong hands, thus preventing an addition to humanity's enduring struggle with despair. 

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