After all the hype and the huge hysterical drama that preceded its release, Lingaa the Tamil Film starring the 64 year old Superstar, Rajnikant turned out to be one of the worst flops of 2014.

Along with the film, his fans have reportedly gone mad.  There is quite a huge amount of gossip as to what went wrong with the movie, and what it was not exactly what was expected of the great hero.

Alongside this development, there have been big hints that he is bound to enter politics and perhaps even join the BJP party.

Be that as it may, there is a big issue that has not been discussed at all, and has generally escaped all the attention of people, everywhere in the media.

It is the big issue of hero worship. 

Rajnikant has been projected as a superhero, who can perform all daredevil fights.  He can take on even eighty bag boys in one stroke, and hit them all over the park.  He can dance with not less than two heroines who are, in reality, fit to be his granddaughters, and still look very young!!

Well, all this is fading.  Our dear hero does look very old, and jaded. His face shows all of it -- after all, even with the best of make up, a 64 year old man, is a grandfather in his own right.  In real life, he has one grand-daughter anyway!

Well, what is now being talked about is the fact that Rajikant is too old to act as a hero, and this issue is a real prestige issue for his fans, who still believe that he is young enough.

BLIND BELIEF AND THE HYPE

Hero worship started in Tamil Nadu, long ago.  It started with the late MG Ramachandran himself.  However, MGR, as he was known, gave away huge amounts of his earnings towards charity.  His home had a huge kitchen that was always kept busy.  All visitors would be made to have  lunch and only then leave the place.  Such was his popularity.

Such practices made him a legend.  He was also into politics and was a hugely successful Chief Minister, who never tolerated corruption.  His skills in managing people were also very good.

All these things made people to blindly believe him.  There was not much of hype about MGR, but the man himself was one who did so many good things.  The State of Tamil Nadu was far better administered in his time.

After his death, Rajnikant followed his footsteps, but he is nowhere near MGR.  His fortune has never been shared in a big way, with poor people.  He is a one man industry, who sometimes supports the film industry, when his films do well --- like the blockbuster Endiran, some time ago. 

However, his fans blindly believe that he is a super-human, and he can do no wrong.  He is also wrongly projected as someone who can save the Tamil Nadu State from further decay.

The hype that surrounds such belief has to be seen to be believed.  On his birthday in December every year, his fans would donate blood, do milk pooja to his cut-outs throughout the State, get to drink all the liquor that is sold in the Government authorized TASMAC shops and then dance on the streets.

Worse, there is a big tendency to imitate whatever the heroes do, in real life.  Violence is sought to be glorified in so many movies, and this has lead to a situation where the young people indulge in violence.  

The new trend of very young heroes now doing something new, with certain logical films, with good stories, and very powerful scripts is a welcome change.  But the practice of hero worship never stops.  For every new hero introduced, there are fan clubs that spring up from nowhere, and these are increasing with every single passing day. 

It is not that all fan clubs are bad.  Kamal Hasan has always encouraged his fans to do meaningful social work, like organizing blood camps, taking up some environmental campaigns, and even cleaning up of some ponds.  He has recently done this in Chennai.  

Some other fan clubs of certain other heroes have also taken up some similar work.  However, the fact is that the fans of the so-called Super Star, Rajnikant have not done anything at all.  They indulge in making the hype before every movie is released, a very big thing, and then taking it to crazy levels.

Hero worship makes every young fan, a lunatic at worst, and a highly distracted person at the least.  The fans spend a huge amount of money from their own pockets.  Each and every hero encourages this and does nothing for the fans.  While they earn several crores, the theaters increase the film rates by as much as ten times, and make a huge amount of money.  The fans loose everything in the process.

Sociologists, media persons, journalists and even lawyers should do something urgent to stop the hero worship from going to crazy levels.  Hero worship does not add any value to the society.  It adds huge commercial value to any hero, and any degradation of values in society, often happens when the hero worship leads to obnoxious practices like doing milk pooja to the cut outs of the hero.  All this should stop and should stop immediately.

We cannot have a situation where everything grows to unmanageable levels.  Hero worship is something that is becoming really unmanageable.  It should also be understood that the heroes are also human.  A person like Rajnikant cannot still dance around trees, when he is sixty four years old.  His fans cannot expect him to do super-human fights at this age.  

It should be realized that hero worship can stop only when the hero stops his fans.  Everything should be done by the hero.  Only very highly placed persons who mean good --- like journalists --- can make the heroes understand  the negative effects of hero worship.  

Youngsters can also be meaningfully diverted towards taking up some meaningful social work, and making them understand that hero worship is a very dangerous thing, in whatever situation.  Constant communication can indeed help a great deal.

Let us all do such communication, in a very serious way, right away, and right now.


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