STAR SYSTEM AND POLITICAL POWER:
HAND IN HAND IN TAMIL NADU

During the electoral campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to Tamil Nadu and visited Rajinikanth, arguably the biggest star of Tamil cinema. It was believed that a photograph with Rajinikanth would help Narendra Modi in garnering the votes from a very large fan base of the star. The news made the front page of all national and regional newspapers of Tamil Nadu.

Looking back at the history of Tamil Nadu, film and politics have been hand in hand since the 50s. From 1967 till today the state government has been led by people from the film industry that includes the present Chief Minister, Dr. J.Jayalalitha, who has acted in over 140 films as the lead heroine and is the Chief Minister for the third time.

With so much of politics sharing space with cinema over the last 60 odd years, I wanted to trace back and build a visual history of how cinema and politics have been influencing each other till date. I wanted to use a visual language that seamlessly connected the films and politics from past till present, almost blurring the difference between the cinematic and the real.

Karthik Subramanian

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