Actor Rajinikanth’s dissent against Hindi imposition could come as a rude shock to the BJP leadership in Delhi. Not that even his support would have meant much in Tamil Nadu, steeped in anti-Hindi sentiments. If anything, Rajnikanth’s rather belated reaction to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s clarion call only indicates he played safe after gauging public mood.
Rajinikanth has had little hesitation in siding with the state, say during the anti-Sterlite agitation or, in supporting the Modi regime’s clampdown in Kashmir. Apparently, he too draws a line. Tamil Nadu will forever remain a stumbling block for New Delhi on that count.
In a way, Rajaji (C Rajagopalachari) could be held partially responsible for the making of the anti-Hindi Tamil psyche. Back in 1937, when the Congress swept to power, even before assuming office as the Premier of the then Madras Presidency, he solemnly announced his government’s intentions to promote Hindi.