Tough road ahead for Tamil star Vijay

After the legendary former chief minister M G Ramachandran (MGR) and J. Jayalalithaa, other superstars such as Kamal Haasan and Vijaykant had ventured into politics earlier.

Tough road ahead for Tamil star Vijay

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Will Tamil superstar Vijay glitter in the already crowded Tamil Nadu political scene now that he has launched his new political party? It is too soon to predict.

After the launch of his party, Tamizhaga vetri Kazhagam Vijay, said, “I have one more film I have signed, and I will finish it and ultimately involve myself in politics. I have been preparing myself for my political journey for a long time. I will devote myself to the people of Tamil Nadu. This is the only way I can give back to my people.” Most people who come to politics would like to project themselves as genuine do-gooders.

After the legendary former chief minister M G Ramachandran (MGR) and J. Jayalalithaa, other superstars such as Kamal Haasan and Vijaykant had ventured into politics earlier. They met with varying degrees of success. MGR had a base in DMK and Jayalalithaa thrived on an anti-DMK posture.


Kamal Haasan established his political party called Makkal Needhi Maiam. However, his party won no seats in the 2019 and 2021 elections. On the other hand, Vijaykant had a promising start but could not sustain his political career and unfortunately passed away recently.

It is interesting to note that some actors who entered politics achieved success while others did not. Among the successful leaders were M.G. Ramachandran, J. Jayalalithaa, M. Karunanidhi, C.N. Annadurai, and Captain Vijayakanth. However, Sivaji Ganesan, Sarathkumar, Napoleon, and S.S. Rajendran were unsuccessful.

Thalapathi (General) Vijay, a Christian from the Udayar community, is widely popular across different regions and can succeed in a state that looks up to cult figures. Vijay is rumoured to earn a whopping Rs 150 crores for each film. He has little competition because other famous stars like Ajith, Rajnikant, and, now, Kamal Hassan have not entered the political arena.

Vijay will compete in the 2026 Assembly elections as a chief ministerial candidate. He has time to build his party and win the public’s trust as an alternative to the DMK. His primary opponent in the generational shift would be Udayanidhi, a minister and the son of chief minister M.K. Stalin.

How will Vijay’s political party meet the challenges ahead? It proposes a political philosophy combining the ideas of three influential figures – B.R. Ambedkar, who advocated for the rights of Dalits; Periyar, a social reformer; and Kamaraj, a leader for the backward class. He is avoiding the word “Dravida” in his party’s name.

Vijay’s challenge is to win over voters from various political parties. These include the ruling DMK and the primary opposition AIADMK. The others are – Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Vanniyar-dominated Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Kamal Hasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam, and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).

Earlier, Vijay had supported the India Against Corruption movement in 2011 and met PM Modi in 2014. In 2017, he also supported the pro-jallikattu protests. In 2018, he met he families of the victims of the Thoothukudi incident.

Challenges before Vijay are many. He can succeed in a state adoring a cult-status politician. He is young (49) and a crowd-pulling figure. He has arrived at the right time.

Vijay is Tamil, while Rajinikanth’s Marathi roots and BJP/RSS connections have caused controversies in a Dravidian-dominated state.

Vijay should define his political ideology and contrast it with the Dravidian doctrine of DMK and AIADMK parties. He should adopt an aggressive posture.

Vijay must specify which political party he is running against – the DMK, AIADMK, or BJP. As a newcomer, his only feasible option is to oppose the ruling government, the DMK. This was the strategy that worked for J. Jayalalithaa, who positioned herself as anti-DMK and antiKarunanidhi and went on to become a successful politician.

Can Vijay impact the votes of parties like DMK, AIADMK, and others in Tamil Nadu? How much will anti-incumbency work for him? For 50 years, these parties have ruled the state alternately, each with a strong 30 per cent vote base. While DMK focused on infrastructure, AIADMK implemented populist schemes. Vijay may or may not win, but his party will impact the other players.

To ensure his success in the 2026 election, Vijay needs to focus on setting up booth committees. Since DMK and AIADMK already have a solid voter base, he needs to encourage his rural supporters to become actual voters. Motivating them and converting them into active voters is the key to winning. This can be done by organizing booth committees.

A political rumour suggests the BJP is supporting his party against DMK. In exchange, his party would receive BJP’s support in 2026. He needs to address this rumour to overcome it.

It is premature to make predictions about Vijay’s future.

However, it would be an exceptional accomplishment if he succeeded like MGR in Tamil Nadu and N.T. Rama Rao in Andhra Pradesh by building his fan base. The road ahead is complex and full of obstacles