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Creating political brand for superstars is a challenge: Experts

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Creating a positive perception and a strong political brand even for a mass hero-politician is not an easy job, say brand and perception strategists.

“Today when actors float a party, their on-screen popularity gives them a leg up. But portability of their movie image to real life politician is difficult,” Harish Bijoor, brand expert and founder of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, told IANS.

According to him, people will start asking so what if an actor comes to politics. An actor can bring the screen imagery to the physical world but after that it is difficult to convert that into votes.

This is where perception positioning of politicians comes into play and the experts in this field are in good demand not only from politicians but also from people who what to build up an image before joining a political party.

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan, after an insipid initial election campaign and unclear positioning during the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, turned decisive to position himself as a third alternative to AIADMK and DMK only towards the end, political analyst Raveendhran Dhuraiswamy told IANS earlier.

“While last minute change in positioning may fetch him some additional votes, Kamal Haasan should have clearly positioned him as an angry new politician from the start. He began tweeting against AIADMK government and that momentum should have been maintained,” perception and political strategist Jhon Arokiasamy told IANS.

Arokiasamy was instrumental in building former Union Health Minister and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss’ brand perception during the 2016 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

“Unlike a product brand, a human brand is a persona brand. A persona brand needs to be real and alive than an inanimate brand. Political branding is more dynamic,” Bijoor said.

According to him, while branding a human being, the inherent qualities of that person should match with what is being portrayed. If there is a clash between the two images then distrust come in, as brand is basically all about trust.

A variance of 10-15 per cent between the real persona and the branded persona is fine but when it exceeds that, problems arise, warned Bijoor.

“What we do is the perception positioning of a politician. For a human being, image and perception are important. Image is a long-term journey and it cannot be constructed. Brand perception is short term and audience centric,” added Arokiasamy.

A politician should be portrayed close to what he can deliver. He cannot be portrayed as person who can deliver the sky when he can deliver only the earth, Bijoor said.

In the case of movie actors, the problem they would face on entering politics is the transition of their on-screen image to real life politician.

According to Arokiasamy, mass heroes will appeal to all sections of the society. Once a hero starts to appeal to masses, then his movie image is cultivated carefully and transition of that image to politics may not be a big problem.

The problems the current day actor-politicians face is: political ideology, their stand on an issue, party structure, caste and cash.

Arokiasamy said Kamal Haasan said his party’s ideology was the middle-path while Rajinikanth had said he would follow spiritual politics.

“People who backed the AIADMK founder and actor M.G. Ramachandran saw him as their leader and not the Dravidian ideology he was propagating while he was in DMK,” former AIADMK MP K.C. Palanisamy told IANS.

Telugu Desam Party founder N.T. Rama Rao (NTR) was seen as an avatar of Hindu God Rama after his movie roles.

“Actors will not find the political space difficult where there are no ideologies,” Arokiasamy said.

On the importance of being politically correct on a burning issue, Arokiasamy cited Rajinikanth’s statement after the police shooting at anti-Sterlite Copper protestors which brought down his image.

Rajinikanth, after visiting the injured, said Tamil Nadu will become a graveyard if there are protests against every issue.

The other problem for actors is that movie charisma will not click against cash-for-votes scam which is now widespread in Tamil Nadu.

There is a segment which is not influenced by cash. To appeal to that segment brand building, perception positioning gains importance, said the two experts.

The role of a perception strategist does not end with designing various campaigns but also includes convincing his client to change his lifestyle in line with the brand perception that he wants to be known.

“I had a politician-client who wanted to be known as a champion of rural areas in a North Indian state. However, his lifestyle was divorced from the rural lifestyle. He was living in a huge house with multiple swimming pools and other luxuries. He was advised to change his lifestyle to be in line with the populace with whom he wants to be identified. He did change,” Bijoor said.

“Even aspiring politicians too want to build up an image before joining a political party. Sometime back a professional specializing in the real estate sector came to me to brand him so that when he joins a political party, the reception will be at an elevated level,” Arokiasamy said.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Kamal Haasan’s party gets torch light symbol – 2019 polls

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Noted actor turned politician Kamal Haasan is overjoyed now. The Election Commission of India has allotted the torch light symbol for his Makkal Needhi Maiam political party. Kamal has thanked the Election Commission profusely saying he is given the most relevant and effective symbol. The elated actor announced that his party will work hard and act like a torch bearer in solving the problems of the people.

As announced earlier, Kamal is preparing his party machinery and fans organisations to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu. His party is contesting alone in this election. Kamal’s main call is to mobilise all like-minded sections to root out corruption in public life.

On the election even alliances, Kamal says his party is interested to tie up with any party that is mired in corruption allegations. But he will consider an alliance with the Congress if it distances from the DMK.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Vijayakanth becomes ‘ Brand ambassador’ for confusion politics

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There was a funny scene that happened during Modi’s visit to Tamilnadu recently. Ruling ADMK party officially joined NDA and it also pulled some other smaller parties like PMK into NDA. But Vijaykanth’s joining into their group was not yet finalized by that time and the discussions were still going on. So just before Modi meeting, AIADMK cadres have erected flexis and banners of all other leaders of Tamilnadu who already joined into their alliance.

The funny part of this was that, they have kept a few empty flexis here and there so that if ongoing discussions with Vijaykanth fructify, they can quickly paste his photo over those empty flexis. Even in the banner photos that has Modi, AIADMK leaders and PMK Ramaswany, they had some ‘gap’ within the photo for same reason.This made Vijayakanth a laughing stock in Tamil Nadu politics. Not only this, but there were some other developments that happened in past couple of weeks completely exposing Vijayakanth’s confusion state in Tamil Nadu politics.

Vijaykanth’s politics from 2005 to 2016:

Vijaykanth formed Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) party in Tamil Nadu in 2005 in Madurai. His party contested in all seats in 2006 assembly elections but won only one seat that was contested by him. But DMDK garnering 10% of the vote bank in next Lok Sabha election surprised analysts and parties. So, Jayalalitha didn’t want votes splitting of Vijaykanth to affect her prospects in the 2011 election and formed an alliance with him. Vijaykanth’s party contested in 41 constituencies and won 29 of the 41 seats, which is more than DMK. He didn’t join government and became opposition leader. In 2016, DMK wanted to ally with him and offered him 55 seats, which is more than what AIADMK offered in previous elections, 4 ministries after forming government and Deputy CM. But for some reasons, he contested alone. His health was not well and he was always in inebriated conditions during his meetings and he lost his reputation as well as the 2017 elections.

2019 – Comedy starts:

AIADMK wanted to have him in NDA but he did not finalize discussions and kept on asking for more seats. They were ready to give him 4 MP seats but he was asking for 7 MP seats. As vijaykanth did not finalise discussions , AIADMK joined hands with PMK, another small party that has strong clout in some areas like Dharmapuri and some communities like Vanniyar. PMK was assured of 7 MP seats and 1 Rajya Sabha ticket. After seeing this, vijayakanth also started asking for 1 rajya Sabha seat in addition 7 MP seats, which AIADMK cannot accommodate.

Discussions with DMK, another comedy

Meanwhile, Vijayakanth brother-in-law Sudheesh announced , just to pressurize AIADMK, that DMK is also in touch with them and negotiating with them for an alliance. But DMK leaders quickly condemned that they have no intention of pulling Vijaykanth into their group, and this put DMDK in a very embarrassing position. Comedy did not end there. Sudheesh called a DMK leader and expressed his intention to join with DMK and he assured to take that matter to the notice of Stalin. The next day media asked that DMK leader about this. He told, he did call Stalin to discuss this, but as Stalin was sleeping at that time, he did not want to disturb his sleep for this UNIMPORTANT matter. At another point of time, both AIADMK and DMK leaders told that Vijayakanth is asking for money as well to spend in elections, in addition to MP seats , and that’s why the discussions with Vijaykanth are not progressing.

Overall:

Vijayakanth had more than 5% of vote bank until previous assembly elections of Tamilnadu. More than that , he had a good respect among people. But now he lost both his vote bank as well as the respect among people. We will have to wait and see if he bounces back.

– ZURAN (@CriticZuran)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Who is Lois Sofia, arrested by TN government for anti-BJP slogans

Lois Sophia, 28 year old Tamil woman studying in Canada has become a top trend on social media. Reason- she called the BJP government ‘fascist’ in front of BJP Tamil Nadu president and TN government arrested her under non-bailable sections for this.

The incident:

She was travelling by aeroplane in which Tamil Nadu BJP president also there. She shouted in air craft and later in airport that “BJP’s Fascism rule down down!!! “ in front of BJP’s state head Tamilisai Soundarajan. She also shouted back at sofia . Finally , upon Tamlisai complaint, TN government filed cases on her under 3 sections and one of those is non bailable.

Sofia background:

She was from scheduled caste. She is a mathematician from the University of Montreal in Canada. She has been active in campaigning against social issues. She had earlier participated in campaigns against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin and some other protests. ( www.telugu360.com/tuticorn-thoothukudi-violence-issue-protest-and-the-future/ )

She earlier participated in Tuticorin movement. During that movement, she strongly criticized the Tamil Nadu government inaction with regard to the Sterlite protests in Tuticorin. She has also voiced her concerns over the way the bjp led Centre has handled several situations of Tamil Nadu

TN government action and political parties reaction:

Tamil Nadu people have been alleging that AIADMK government has become puppet in the hands of Modi. Now, upon complaint from BJP leader, TN government filed cases against her. Actually, filing cases is not an issue but the sections under which Tamilnadu Government filed cases is attracting lot of Criticism from the people. Later , opposition parties like DMK and Congress supported her and lambasted the government. She also received support from actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan.

What is the argument of BJP fans:

BJP fans started vehemently criticising her on social media platforms. They are saying, she should first know what is the meaning of the word fascism. They also point out that her certificate is saying she is belonging to scheduled caste but she is actually a converted Christian. They also question her father’s argument that they are from low class family, as his daughter is studying in Canada. They call her anti Hindu. They are appreciating Tamil Nadu BJP President for doing the right thing as this will stop conversions.

What Sofia supporters are saying:

Many people question the government for taking stringent actions against her for shouting anti bjp slogans. They point out that the non bailable section under which case is filed is absolutely wrong. They also question Tamil Nadu Government’s inaction during Sterlite violence and many other such situations and questioning why it is super active now. They also question if you want to put all the people who shout against BJP behind bars how many lakhs of people you will put in jail?

Overall:

Raising anti government slogans in the public might be punishable but not under non bailable sections. It is clear that AIADMK Government has taken another hasty decision.

– Zuran (@CriticZuran)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

TN would become graveyard if protests held for everything: Rajinikanth

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Tamil Nadu would turn into a graveyard if people start protesting on every issue, said actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at the Chennai airport on his return from Thoothukudi, a visibly angry Rajinikanth stressed it was the anti-social elements who indulged in arson and violence in Thoothukudi during protests against a Sterlite factory that led to the death of 13 people in police firing.

He said the Thoothukudi protests on May 22 turned violent only after police were attacked by anti-social elements, adding he would not accept attack on police.

According to him, as it happened during the Jallikattu demonstrations, miscreants infiltrated the movement in Thoothukudi where a peaceful protest was being organised against the Sterlite Copper smelter plant of Vedanta Ltd.

Earlier in the day, Rajinikanth visited the injured people admitted in a government hospital in Thoothukudi and consoled them.

His comments underscore the stand of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami who earlier said anti-social elements got violent during the demonstration against the Sterlite plant, which the protesters said was destroying the farm lands and leading to severe health issues in the area.

Those who indulged in arson were not general public and it was a failure of the intelligence department to have not detected it, Rajinikanth told the media in Thoothukudi.

The superstar said of late, anti-social elements have become active in Tamil Nadu and praised late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for having kept them under control in her tenure.

Urging the current state government to follow in Jayalalithaa’s steps, he said if they fail to control the miscreants, the state will face a grave danger.

If the state turns into an arena of protests, then investments will not come in resulting in non-creation of jobs, he said.

Rajinikanth also dismissed the opposition’s demand that Palaniswami should quit over the violence, saying resignation is not the answer to all problems but added that he does not have faith in the one person inquiry commission announced by the state government.

Welcoming Rajinikanth’s comment on anti-social elements, Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said regardless of criticism, it is only right to tell the truth.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Three Jallikattu spectators die in Tamil Nadu

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Three spectators of Jallikattu or bull taming sport were killed and several injured at different places in Tamil Nadu when bulls attacked them, according to reports reaching here.

In a village in Sivaganga district — around 500 km from here — two persons were killed when a bull attacked them on being released. Around 50 persons were injured in the attack.

Similarly, in a Jallikattu in Trichy district, around 350 km from here, one spectator was killed and several were injured in a bull’s attack.

Meanwhile, at Alanganallur in Madurai district, Jallikattu was jointly flagged off by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.

Around 1,000 bulls and over 1,200 bull tamers participated in the event.

Jallikattu is Tamil Nadu’s traditional sport which is part of Pongal festivities.

The rules of the sport say that a bull tamer will be awarded a prize if he hangs on to the hump of the animal for a certain period of time.

The winning bull tamers and the owners of untamed bulls would be awarded prizes like cash, consumer durables, two wheelers and others.

This year, two cars has been added to the prize list for the Allanganallur event.

After mass protests last year against banning the sport, Jallikattu was held following the passing of an ordinance amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The first Jallikattu event of this year was held in Madurai on January 14.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

What lies ahead for Rajni politics- Tamil politics in a nutshell – part 2

Tamil politics in a nutshell – part 1

Rumors on Rajni’s political entry is not a new thing for media. It started around 1996 after super hit movie ‘Basha’. Every now and then, there will be some discussion in media about Rajni’s political entry and this topic has become too cliche to generate any further interest, until couple of years back. But suddenly after Jayalalitha’s death, speculations have started with full vigor again. But Rajni has put a big full stop to all the rumors on the last day of 2017. Now the debate shifted to whether he will pull off another MGR or NTR? Or will he become another Vijaykanth or Chiranjeevi? Will he become “Thalapathy” in politics too or he will join the club of another actor who gave an attempt in politics but in vein? Let’s analyze…

Negative side: Why it is difficult to repeat the feat of MGR or NTR?

No ideology: Unlike Annadurai and Karunanidhi, Rajni was never part of any social / political movement. Both these writers (Anna and Karunanidhi) wrote several scripts (for drama and movies) to propagate their ideology of caste-less and class-less society and MGR acted in those scripts and because of those scripts Anna, Karuna and MGR all built great mass base. Rajni’s mass base is because of commercial elements but not because of sociological scripts. No one knows what his take on various social issues. All that people know about him is – he is a spiritual person.

No prior work: MGR and Jayalalitha toiled for the party and later became the Chief ministers.But Rajni only got the ambition. He might have done some social work but it is not on par with the ambitions he has.

Diplomatic statements: When it comes to giving political opinions, Rajini has almost always preferred to have a diplomatic stand. This does not help him get projected as true leader.

Nativity: Whenever news about Rajni’s political entry came out one section of people start questioning his nativity. He is originally from Maharashtra and worked in Karnataka. So whenever inter-state issues like Kaveri river water sharing pop up, Rajni always was in soup. Once he raised voice against Karnataka government regarding Cauvery water issue. Then he had got trouble releasing his films in Karnataka and then he taken aback his foot.

People able to differentiate movie adulation and politics: Gone are the days when people simply voted for their matinee idols. Nowadays, people are very matured and say “I love my favorite star in films, but I won’t vote for him”. This trend is in sync with what most analysts and intellectuals feel about film stars entering politics. Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Markandeya Katju wrote in his blog – “Has he any solutions to the massive problems of poverty, unemployment, undernourishment, lack of healthcare, farmers distress, etc? I think he has none. Then why do people want him in politics?”

BJP angle: We need to remember, more than 60% vote base in Tamil Nadu still have anti-Hindi sentiments and with strong Dravidian ideology. Remaining 40% vote base are young/mid age people,neutral voters,other language population settled in TN for long. But there are news that BJP is supporting him backdoor. If it is true, it will turn to be a disaster for both BJP and Rajni.

Positive side: Why he can not be ignored ?

Political vacuum: TN is witnessing the weakest government in last couple of decades. Definitely there is a political vacuum and everyone knows, if not now – Rajni can never get a chance like this. Probably 1996 was the best time, but this is the next better (probably, final) opportunity for him. But how he cashes on this is up to him.

Strong fan base: He has very strong fan base that any super star envies. If he enters politics, At minimum, he can he can easily create a vote bank of 15-20% in Tamilnadu. It can be recalled here, Vijaykanth got around 5% vote bank and Chiranjeevi got around 16.7% vote bank when they floated parties and contested. So, this analysis of 15 to 20% is definitely a reasonable one. In the era where 1% vote bank is tilting the political fortunes, 15-20% is definitely a big number.

Ability to tilt the balance: Hysteria was witnessed in 1996, when Rajni openly defied Jayalalithaa, asking people not to vote for her. The following election saw Amma losing the assembly elections and the DMK-TMC combine registering a landslide victory. With just a statement he was able to tilt the power. If he can properly play the cards, he can once again prove his power and repeat the magic.

What lessons he can take home from other actors who failed in politics?

Why Sivaji Ganesan failed in politics? All main leaders in Tamil Nadu – like Periyar, Annadurai, Karunanidhi and MGR – everyone had a political ideology – Be it a self respect movement (Periyar) or anti-Hindi movement (Annadurai, Karunanidhi) , Annaism(MGR). But Sivaji Ganesan, just like Rajini, did not embody any political Ideology. That proved him a disaster. Other than being a fan of his acting, Sivaji Ganesan never able to convince people why they should vote him. This should be a lesson for Rajinikanth. While announcing political entry, Rajni did talk about corruption but that is too stale an ideology for Rajni to pick up.

Why Chiranjeevi failed in politics? Chiru was too soft a person for politics. On the day of his political announcement (not that Tirupati meeting, but the press meet he convened to announce political entry) he told, both Chandra Babu and YSR are good leaders and he doesn’t want to criticize them. Such diplomatic statements do not work in politics. If Rajinikanth turns to be a bold person and portray his reel life in his real life surely he will be the next CM of Tamil Nadu but his soft attitude and fear towards politicians makes him just one more actor wanting to try luck in politics. In a recent interview, Dr Vinay Kumar (contested and lost from PRP in 2009 and one of the key persons in PRP) told that he actually urged Chiranjeevi to go hard on YSR and CBN and make some strong comments against them but Chiranjeevi refused to do so. Obviously, it proved to be a life-time mistake for Chiranjeevi. This might be a major takeaway for Rajni.

But the official reason Chiranjeevi told for this failure was ‘lack of electioneering techniques’. He quoted there were more than 30 constituencies in which PRP lost with less than 3000 votes. If there were some good “electioneering practices” adopted, the future of PRP might be different. Rajni will also have the same issue to tackle as he is a novice and has to compete with “electioneering” stalwarts DMK and AIADMK.

What lies ahead

Rajinikanth fits the bill at present due to lack of any other alternative. From his point of view, this might be the best time. But politics is full of unpredictability. There are ‘n’ number of permutations and combinations that have the chances of changing the game completely.

First, if the current government collapses before its full term, it will be a boon to Rajni. However if it manages to complete remaining tenure till 2022 somehow, Rajni will be 72 years of age by that time and believe – it is very tough for him to even contest elections.

Second. if Karunanidhi, nonagenarian politician, is alive by the time of elections, probably it will be projected as his last elections and anything can happen in Tamil politics – full of drama. (This is just for analysis) In case he dies, just before elections – that will have another kind of impact on elections. If the rift between Stallin and Azhagiri widens, there will be different kind of impact.

Third, what stand he takes on national issues also will have lot of impact. If he is seen as some one colluding with central government (NDA) – it may prove disaster.

So, it will be very difficult to predict his fortunes at the moment, but we will get an idea by observing how he reacts on various issue from today. After all, he is a politician now and he has to react on each and every issue now on and that will give people a fair idea about what he is up to !!!

– Zuran

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rajinikanth to announce his political plans on Dec 31

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Fuelling further speculation about his entry into politics, megastar Rajinikanth on Tuesday said he will announce his political stance on December 31.

Addressing his fans here, the 67-year-old actor made it clear he was not saying he would enter politics but would only announce his “political stance” on that day.

Rajinikanth said he was not new to politics. However, it required time to “study and strategise”.

“We will see when the war comes and war is nothing but an election. If you are entering a war you have to win it and you can’t win just because of bravery. You also have to strategise. It is taking time because one has to analyse difficulties and losses,” he said.

He said more than the people, the media was interested in knowing about his political plans.

He also advised his fans not to focus on the negative information being circulated in the social media. “Focus on positive thoughts,” he said.

In November, he had told reporters that there was no hurry for him to enter politics.

In May, while addressing a large gathering of his fans, Rajinikanth said he would choose the path of politics “God willing”.

“God decides what we have to do in life at every phase. Right now, he wants me to be an actor and I’m fulfilling my responsibility. If God willing, I will enter politics tomorrow.

“If I enter, I will be very truthful and will not entertain people who are in this to make money. I won’t work with such people,” he had said.

Preceding the announcement, Rajinikanth will have photo sessions with his fans over the next six days.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Dinakaran takes early lead in R.K.Nagar by-poll

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Sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V.Dinakaran on Sunday took an early lead in the by-election for the Radhakrishnan Nagar (R.K.Nagar) constituency that fell vacant after the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Meanwhile, supporters of both AIADMK and Dinakaran clashed inside a hall in the Queen Mary’s College here where the vote count of the by-election that took place on December 21 was ongoing.

According to reports, the AIADMK agents inside the hall started an argument with Dinakaran’s supporters following the news of his early lead.

Dinakaran is contesting the by-poll as an Independent candidate.

He was followed by AIADMK’s E.Madhusudhanan and DMK’s N.Marudhu Ganesh.

At the end of the second round of vote counting, Dinakaran has got 10,421 votes, Madhusudhanan 4,521 and Ganesh 2,383.

The by-poll was necessitated following the death of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016, who represented the seat.

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Any government ignoring human suffering will fall: Kamal Haasan

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Hitting out at the Tamil Nadu government, Tamil actor Kamal Haasan on Sunday said any regime that focusses on power and fame even if results in loss of life would fall.

A person is an accessory to a murder if his action results in an accident which Tamil Nadu’s rulers should realise, he said.

In a tweet, Haasan said a government that does not value the lives of pedestrians cannot travel in a palanquin for long, in an obliquely reference to the death of a software engineer in Coimbatore – around 500 km from here – on Friday after hitting the wooden structure on the road.

The wooden structure was erected for an decorative arch as a part of the centenary celebration of AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran.

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss said the ruling party has not obtained any permission from the authorities for putting up such structures.

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A.R Rahman in hunt for singers to share stage with him

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Double Oscar-winning composer A.R Rahman is on a hunt for singers from Tamil Nadu who can sing with him on stage. He feels that there is huge talent in the state who never got a platform.

Rahman launched “7Up Tamizh Naattin Kural”, a state-wide voice hunt that promises to be a celebration of the spirit and vibrant talent of Tamil Nadu.

“There are so many amazing singers in Tamil Nadu who haven’t got a chance to showcase their talent yet, and I would like to see them. 7Up Thamizh Naattin Kural is a platform that will facilitate this and provide an opportunity for sharing thoughts and insights,” Rahman told IANS,

“I’m looking forward to finding seven new voices through this hunt who will join me on stage at my next concert in Chennai,” he added.

7Up is running an extensive media campaign across radio, TV and outdoor mediums featuring A.R Rahman.

Elaborating on the new campaign, Vipul Prakash, Senior Vice President – Beverage Category, PepsiCo India said: “‘7Up Thamizh Naattin Kural’ is our way of saluting Tamil Nadu’s rich and vibrant talent, and we are honoured to partner with musical genius, A.R Rahman for this initiative. Music is a remarkable unifier, and through this campaign, we look forward to bringing together talented young voices with a chance to sing with the legendary music maestro.”

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

No more Hoardings of living people in TN

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In a sensational move, Madras High Court banned the use of pictures of the living people on hoardings and banners in Tamil Nadu. It has been a culture of erecting hoardings and banners of politicians and film celebrities in hundreds across the state for which Madras High Court slammed the tradition. The court even directed all the top officials to take the responsibility to keep the state keen and ensure no drawings and hoardings appear across the residential areas.

The Madras High Court took this step after a Chennai resident Trilochana Kumari filed a plea after she faced issues with the local civic body near her residence. Despite of several attempts, the party banners flagged in front of her home have not been removed. The cops too refused to file a complaint after which she approached the court. Madras High Court said that if any banners or hoardings are placed carrying pictures, the person should not be alive.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Police complaint against ‘Mersal’ hero Vijay lodged in Madurai

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A Madurai based advocate has filed a complaint against Tamil actor Vijay over the dialogues in “Mersal”, said a police official.

“A complaint has been received against actor Vijay. An acknowledgement for receipt of the complaint has been issued. No first information report (FIR) had been lodged,” a police official in Anna Nagar police station in Madurai told IANS over phone on Monday.

Temple town Madurai is around 500 km from here.

“Mersal” is in the midst of a controversy after the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the removal of certain dialogues which take a dig at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and digital India.

Directed by Atlee, “Mersal” stars Vijay in the roles of a village head, a doctor and a magician. It is doing brisk business at the box office.

BJP’s National Secretary H. Raja and Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan criticised Vijay and the movie for the dialogues critical of GST and Digital India.

The BJP leaders said the dialogues were factually incorrect.

In a tweet on Monday, Soundararajan said like the freedom to express views, one has the freedom to rebut wrong views.

Raja, who raked up the actor’s Christian origin by his tweet “Joseph Vijay’s hatred for Modi is ‘Mersal'” on October 21, continued that on Monday.

He uploaded the actor’s voter identity card and a letter written by the actor to a magazine on his letter pad.

“Truth is bitter,” tweeted Raja on Monday uploading the two documents to underscore Vijay’s religion.

Vijay, who had met Narendra Modi during electioneering ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, had even lauded demonetisation last year.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Tamilians wave unity while people of AP can’t even count on leaders

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Special Category status, Vishaka Railway Zone, Special package for Uttarandhra and Rayalaseema, Kadapa Steel Plant, Vijayawada Metro Rail among others – we diligently keep a track of the promises that the Central government has backtracked. Two years after elections, instead of special status the centre announced special package which is not yet realised only adding to the already mugged assurances.

Venkaiah Naidu who asked for special status, when the reorganisation bill was being put up in Rajyasabha, was side-lined and now remains as a spectator of many such false promises being made in the same upper house.

Narendra Modi who pledged to implement reorganisation promises extends step-motherly treatment to the state. Chandrababu Naidu as a well-mannered son adjusts and endures this rough behaviour by ally BJP. Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy tries to befriend Modi while Pawan Kalyan tries to defend Naidu by targeting BJP. In this old-fashioned story, the one who is being deprived of their rightful share are the people. In democracy people have right to fight against government which the Tamilians have demonstrated by uniting against ban on Jallikattu, NEET exam or the latest Vijay’s Mersal movie.

While the followers of the Telugu actors/leaders wage fan wars on who is great, the entire Tamil Nadu film industry took a stand for one actor’s movie to preserve Tamil Pride. This industry has been breaking precedents. It keeps coming forward every time they see that their people need to be heard louder than ever, especially when there is no recognisable effort from the politicians. Former Chief Minister O Pannerselvam went to New Delhi and held discussions to revoke ban against Jallikattu. When people have united, even the AIADMK had to bow. Andhra Pradesh needs such kind of unity for a lot of changes.

Taking inspiration from the Tamil counterparts, youth of Andhra Pradesh tried to protest on Republic day. Unlike OPS, Chandrababu the obedient son curtailed the protest by implementing section144 of CrPC and deploying police against the people who voted for him. Only Jagan could make it to Vishakapatnam airport. Apparently, being the opposition leader of the state instead of staying close to people, he had to travel all the way from another state. Then there was Pawan Kalyan who was tweeting. What can youngsters or people do when these leaders neither unite nor want people to unite for the sake of the state.

Moreover, the members of parliament from Andhra Pradesh are unnoticed and are merely spectators. Many issues are overlooked at national level due to uninspiring leadership skills of aforementioned three prominent faces who are also acting as hand-in-glove. The disrupted unity has already caused a lot of damage. It would be beneficial if people could start counting on the leaders instead of counting the number of promises that did not materialize.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Is Sasi Kala Natarajan violating court conditions of Parole?

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Its known news that Sasikala Natarajan was granted a 5 day parole by the Karnataka prisons department to see her ailing husband Natarajan. Natarajan is recovering at a hospital after undergoing a liver and kidney transplant. As per conditions on parole, Sasikala has been directed to keep away from all political activities and only visit hospital to meet her husband. But now there have been stories running in media about her violation of parole conditions.

After coming out of Jail, Sasikala met her husband M Natarajan in a private hospital at Perumbakkam and spent around two hours in the hospital. Sasikala’s five-day parole ends on October 11. She has to return to Parappana Agrahara prison on October 12. But meanwhile media channels have been reporting stories about her involving political activities. As per conditions of parole, she should not meet any MLAs or MPs for political purposes. But as per media stories, though she is not meeting MLAs or MPs, she is using her time to set right her party and she is discussing with MLAs of AIADMK on mobile phone. It is known news that currently Dinakaran’s faction and Palani Swamy’s group are fighting with each other and opposition party is waiting for right time to pull the government.

On the other side, it seems, she became very emotional after seeing her husband in ICU at Global hospital.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Kamal Haasan meets fans amid speculation on political plunge

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Amid persistent speculation that he will take the political plunge, noted actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan on Wednesday met members of his fans associations here to discuss activities to be carried out on his birthday on November 7.

Kamal will turn 63 this year.

“We discussed welfare activities that we have planned for his birthday across Tamil Nadu,” Thangavelu, Treasurer of the All India Kamal Haasan Fans Welfare Association, told the media here.

Amidst speculation that the “Dasavatharam” actor will form a political party on his birthday, Thangavelu said: “He has already made it loud and clear that he will take the political plunge. As his welfare association, we are ready to support him in his journey.

“If he has plans to announce, he will do it. With us, he only discussed about how the welfare activities have to be carried out.”

In recent months, Kamal has been very vocal about his political ambitions. He has also been overtly critical of the AIADMK, triggering counter-criticism from the ruling party.

At the finale of the Tamil version of reality television show “Bigg Boss”, he pointed towards the audience and said: “I’m definitely coming there.”

“I’m not exploiting this stage. I’m speaking from the bottom of my heart. If you think I should continue acting, then say it aloud. If you think I need to serve the society and bring about a change, say it now. I’m prepared to die in service of my nation,” he added.

Kamal has in recent weeks met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and discussed the state of politics in Tamil Nadu.

While the actor met Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram, Kejriwal flew to Chennai and met him. The actor has also declared that “saffron is not my colour” — meaning he was not sympathetic to the BJP.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Sadavarti Satram Land Auction: Tamil Nadu Govt files petition in Supreme Court

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Tamil Nadu government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to suspend the auctioning of Sadavarti Satram lands. In that petition, it requested to cancel the auctioning if it was already done. Tamil Nadu Government stated that Andhra Pradesh has no connection with the Sadavarti lands.

It may be noted that in July2016, Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister P Manikyala Rao said that there was no response and cooperation from the Tamil Nadu government in the auctioning of Sadavarti Satram lands.

The land in question belonged to the Sadavarti Satram of Sri Amaralingeswara Swamy temple (at Amaravati) located in old Mahabalipuram under the Talamburu village limits in Tamil Nadu

The satram has about 471 acres of lands, of which only 83 acres were left unoccupied for which the AP Govt conducted auctioning at a meagre rate of Rs 27 lakh per acre. Manikyala Rao said that major portion of land was occupied or distributed by the Tamil Nadu government.

Even though the Endowments Department reportedly took possession of the land in 1962, the management affairs were taken care by the trustees of the Satram.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Opposition meets President, seeks TN floor test

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Stepping up the campaign, a delegation of opposition leaders on Thursday met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought an immediate floor test in the Tamil Nadu assembly so that Chief Minister K. Palaniswami proves his legislative majority.

Leaders from the DMK, Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Communist Party of India (CPI) told the President that the Palaniswami government had lost majority support as 19 MLAs owing allegiance to the Dinakaran faction in the AIADMK have told the Governor that they have withdrawn support to the Chief Minister.

Congress leader Anand Sharma, who was part of the delegation, told reporters: “We met Rashtrapatiji to convey our grave concerns over the political instability and uncertainty in Tamil Nadu because the Chief Minister has lost majority.”

He said the opposition leaders in Tamil Nadu had met the Governor urging him to convene an urgent session of the Assembly and ask the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House.

“It is the settled constitutional position. We have collectively conveyed this to the President. We have conveyed in writing that 21 MLAs have told the Governor about withdrawing support to the state government,” Sharma said.

After 19 AIADMK MLAs withdrew support to the Chief Minister, two more MLAs joined them.

CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said if there was an uncertainty of numbers in any assembly or Parliament, the only way open “which the judiciary and Presidency of India has always adhered to” was to test the majority in the House.

“The point is that any government will have to enjoy the majority of the elected legislators. That can be demonstrated and established only on the floor of the House. So our demand is immediately convene the Assembly and let the confidence motion be put to vote,” Yechury said.

DMK leader Kanimozhi reiterated the demand for a full-time Governor for Tamil Nadu. Currently, Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu.

“We have been raising this time and again that Tamil Nadu does not have a full-time Governor. It is of great concern as it is an important state going through a crisis,” she said.

Besides Sharma, Yechury and Kanimozhi, DMK Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva and CPI leader D. Raja were also part of the delegation.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Kamal Haasan asks people to email corruption complaints to TN ministers

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Multifaceted actor and film producer Kamal Haasan on Wednesday took his fight against the Tamil Nadu government to a higher level, urging jis fans and others to send email complaints against corruption to the ministers.

In a tweet, Kamal requested his fans and discerning people of Tamil Nadu to send complaints against corruption to the ministers concerned in a digital format, noting complaints on paper would be torn and thrown away.

The actor had requested the people explain the travails faced by them due to corruption and also ask questions in a respectable manner.

The rulers should know that the people are more honourable, he said.

Kamal said there will be few lakh questions and whether the ministers would arrest the questioners or would they provide an answer to those questions remains to be seen.

The actor said he would cite the corrupt practices relating to his movie field.

He alleged that barring few like him, others in the movie world are keeping silent to the corrupt drama enacted in the name of giving tax exemption certificates.

The well-accomplished actor, at times outspoken, is facing the ire of several ministers in Tamil Nadu for his recent comment that there is corruption in all the state government departments.

Similarly some fringe outfits are also against the television reality show “Bigg Boss”, hosted by him.

In response to his corruption charge, Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani hadchallenged Kamal Haasan to prove existence of corruption in the government, and also asked the actor if he was ready to share the details of taxes paid by him for his films

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister D. Jayakumar told reporters here on Monday that Kamal Haasan should enter politics “if he has the guts”.

On Kamal’s comments about corruption in Tamil Nadu government departments, Jayakumar said the actor is indulging in mudslinging and they will not keep quiet.

Kamal however said he had already entered political arena the day when he had voiced his opposition to Hindi imposition, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Tamil Nadu Theatres on indefinite strike, Film Industry comes in support

Superstar Rajinikanth took to twitter to extend support to Tamil Nadu Film Industry and said, “Keeping in mind the livelihood of Lakhs of people in the tamil film industry, I sincerely request the TN GOVT to seriously consider our plea”

Protesting against the additional corporation tax in the tickets apart from Goods and Services Tax, and requesting permission to hike the ticket rates, around 1000 cinemas in the state are on indefinite strike since Monday. They have halted advance booking from Sunday while a few of them shut on the same day.

GST puts cinema tickets under two slabs, 28% and 18% for tickets ranging above 100 and below respectively. Apart from this increase, the state government is imposing additional 30% municipal tax on theatres. In other South Indian states Rs 100 ticket would cost Rs 118 inclusive GST, but it would cost Rs 148 in Tamil Nadu all-encompassing GST and corporation tax. It is the only state in the country to announce a separate tax in addition to GST.

Also theatres put forth another request to rationalise the ticket prices, which were fixed way back in 2007. Theatre owners said that there has been no hike in ticket prices for a decade now effecting theatres in the suburbs and villages.

The government order proclaiming the state will levy 30% entertainment tax which will be amassed by the local bodies, in addition to GST was passed on Friday. To lower the anguish of the producers of the recently-release films, Tamil Films Producers Council president Vishal, while opposing the additional 30% entertainment tax asked the theatre owners to call off the strike or at least to defer it by a week. The negotiations between the theatre owners and producers to resolve the bottleneck failed which led to indefinite strike since Monday. The meeting of Tamil film producers council, South Indian Artistes Association, along with the theatre owners and distributors with Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Monday failed to yield any positive result.

Tamil Nadu Cinema Theatre Owners Federation president Abirami Ramanathan earlier said that resolution to go foray had come out of the blue as the theatre owners were kept in the dark about the double taxation. He said that when Kerala Government has withdrawn the tax, Tamil Nadu government has to do the same. He iterated that they are not against GST and said that the so many taxes would encourage people to illegally download films.

The Tamil Film Fraternity came in support of the theatre owners. Actor Kamal Hassan, hinting at an agitation strongly voice “Let’s request first as gentlemen should. Then we shall see”. Earlier, lamenting the state government he had said, “Filmmaking in the state has been made difficult deliberately. There are further tortures and systemic corruption that the film industry has to endure under this regime.”

Actor Arjun said that the local Body tax issued on top of GST will make industry suffer. He believes that no one will come forward to produce films in TN with such extortionate rates. He requested to save the Tamil cinema like Director and Producer Shankar Shanmugam who also said that 48-58% is too much of tax.

Actor Siddarth held that “The Tamil Film Industry must stand united. We are being played by this center-state confusion. #GST is one nation one tax! No exceptions!”

Harris Jayaraj held that he never thought the GSt would crush the 10lakhs family of Tamil Cinema along with others

Tamil Lyricist and Dialogue Writer Madhan Karky hoped that the tax is revised and offered to reduce 15% off my remuneration for songs and dialogues, to help the industry.

Lyca Productions, which is currently producing Rajinikanth’s “2.0” said it would not take up future projects in Tamil Nadu if there was no clarity on the tax structure.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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