300th Post

This news was forwarded by MGR Fan Murugan Dharmalingam, published in Times of India, Chennai Edition.

In Chittoor district, it is MGR and Jaya all the way

Nagari/Hyderabad: Move over Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, Pavan Kalyan and for that matter, the latest hot-shot political heartthrob Junior NTR who, any way, is recuperating in a hospital. For, Nagari, Satyavedu and Chittoor voters still vouch for Kollywood, more so for M G Ramachandran and fiery Jayalalithaa.

Playing to the gallery are political parties which are dishing out popular numbers of MGR-Jaya and showing their films at election meetings and roadshows. A Vijayendiran, a farm worker from Nagari, sums up the mood. “I have grown up watching ‘Makkal Tilakam’ MGR’s films and listening to his songs. MGR was an inspiration to all the political parties then and it holds good even today,” he says.

Trade analysts say it’s no surprise that MGR-Jaya ’s films wow the electorate in the tailend Chittoor district, which has a close connection with Tamil Nadu and its culture. “The first man to conspicuously blend cinema and politics was MGR. He opened a new world for people caught in frustrating drudgery of impoverished lives,” a senior film critic told The Times Of India. Little wonder that all the parties, irrespective of political affiliations, are running the movies of MGR-Jaya — the lead pair of yesteryear in Kollywood — in the three key assembly segments which have a sizable Tamil population (over 60%).

“Some of the voters even ask us to play very old songs and movies of MGR which are not available,” a TDP leader from Satyavedu said. Presently, parties are playing MGR-Jaya starrers like ‘Ayirathil Oruvan,’ “Chandrodayam”, “Naadodi Mannan”, “Engaveettu Pillai,” etc. Superstar Rajnikant and Vijayakanth’s movies are also much in demand during this election season, a source said.

Analysts said the demand for MGR’s films was much to do with his ability to break caste hierarchy, vault over literacy barrier and be with the common man in his cinema as well as political career. “Substance and issues can be easily replaced by cine glamour. But stars like MGR and NTR had chosen to trade their mass appeal for the good of society,” an analyst averred.

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