I have written on Kollywood actors idolatry and how stupid and useless it is to indulge in such actor adulation before, even a satire. But now, many educated Malaysian Indians are springing up defending the adulation of Kollywood actors and this article would focus on that veracity. It seems yenthe mare mandeikum oreikele.
While I find it unbelievable that educated Malaysian Indian adults are also swept by this, “I am Vijay fan, you are Ajith fan, he is Surya fan, let’s fight/debate on who is Mass and who is Piss” phenomenon, it makes one thing clear – how difficult it would be to reform Malaysian Indians who are less educated, ergo have limited world views and common sense when even the educated ones indulge in Kollywood actors fans love and loathe, going berserk when their favourite Kollywood actor is trolled or when their matinee idol adulation is challenged.
Yet, I won’t relent even when I’m bound to get thuppu from the lot I aforementioned. Vazhkai oru vattam da. Lawrence Raghavendra mattum than horror movie sequels viduvara? Naa vidamaatena?
The inception of Kollywood actor idolatry
Now, let’s get retrospective. Allow me to elaborate on how Kollywood idolatry began in India. It started when India got her independence from the British Raj. The newly formed Indian republic badly needed a saviour to bring them out of their dire circumstances. And then, they discovered the ‘magical land’ called cinema. It fascinated the masses, especially the heroism portrayed in celluloid.
Situation song from the movie Indian. The diversity of the Indian peoples is shown at the end of this song.
Now, let’s shrink from India to Tamil Nadu, the seat of Kollywood today. The first matinee idol for the Tamil masses was MGR. They thought what he does on screen, he is able to do in real life and they made him CM of Tamil Nadu. Most of you reading this were not born at that time. And this Kollwood actor fans’ love and loathe wasn’t born at that time as well. No MGR fan at that time fought with a Sivaji Ganesan fan or a Gemini Ganesan fan for that matter, mocking/glorifying everything about them, from the way they act to the human beings they are. If there was, it was mild, personal and understated – my mom says she dislikes MGR movies because he was always romancing heroines in his movies and prefers Sivaji because he does unconventional roles, one of his most impressive being Navarathiri, where he does 9 roles, comparable to Kamal’s Dasavatharam. There were Sivaji detractors and they used to call him ‘Thadiyen’ but they neither cast aspersions towards Sivaji fans nor glorified themselves for being MGR fans.
This Kollywood actor fans’ love and loathe did not manifest in the 70s, 80s and even early 90s either. No one ever loved Sivakumar (Surya and Karthi’s dad) and loathed AVM Rajan with all their heart, started fan groups, go, “Sivakumar rocks, AVM Rajan sucks,” and vice versa. Same goes to Karthik (Muthuraman’s son and Gowtham Karthik’s dad), Prabu (Vikram Prabu’s dad), Mohan, Ramarajan, Baghyaraj, Arvindswamy and Prabu Deva. These people were on top in the Tamil film industry in the order of the eras. Their fans never divided themselves as Karthik’s die hard fans, cite that they are proud to be Prabu’s fans or haters of Arvindswamy calling him gundu poosanika overtly and have his fans engage in a free for all with his haters.
In the early 90s, Vijay, Surya and Ajith were newcomers and this is how Vijay, Ajith & Surya looked back then:
Yep, very different and immature looking isn’t it? At the time of their debut into Kollywood and the days of MGR, the past heyday of Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan, there was no internet or internet had just made its appearance, so it’s excusable if people of the periods did not know that cinema is much more than the actors on screen and that technical crew does 90% of the job in order to make a film and have no idea who are Louis Braille, Louis the Second or Louis Pasteur. But, if you are reading this and you have no idea of at least one of the Louis I mentioned, then it is inexcusable because you have the internet and with it, free flowing information on almost anything and yet you choose to detract/hail your current loved/loathed Kollywood actor online, inanely oblivious to the film technical crew’s crucial role in making a film, instead of reading up on stuff you don’t know and enrich your general knowledge. That’s why we have people saying Pakistan is the capital city of Nepal (I heard this on THR Raaga Guys ah Girls ah Sariyana Potti) but answer correctly on what is Ajith’s upcoming movie, people expressing sadness and dejection because Vijay Awards did not give Vijay a XXX award on the same day when a deadly earthquake killed more than 1,200 people in Nepal and the overlook of Bharathiyar’s birthday that falls one day before Rajinikanth’s and this is precisely why I am writing this, why Kollywood actor fans’ love and loathe is not only plainly stupid but how it retards the minds of Indians here.
The regressive nature Kollywood actors’ fanatic fans
Although I have no idea when this Kollywood phenomena of Vijay fans against Ajith fans and otherwise came into being, I do know where it came from and who brought it here – immigrants from Tamil Nadu, India. We generally don’t treat them with respect but we have no qualms of emulating their Kollywood actors’ obsession. As usual, our priorities are forever screwed up. The picture below explains the depth of the hypocrisy. The general treatment workers from India here receive from us is subhuman but as for actors from India, dijunjung di atas kepala. Yean da dei? Just like workers from India trying to make a living here, the actors are doing the same. So, the sensible thing to do is respect both as human instead of forwarding a treatment of bipolarity – extreme disdain for the workers and extreme adoration for the actors.
I watch mostly Tamil movies and evidenced by dissemination on Tamil film industry above, my knowledge about the Indian film industry is quite extensive. Yet, neither am I a self proclaimed, proud fan of any Kollywood actor, nor a to the hilt critique of any Kollywood actor. For me, all of them exist for entertainment purpose and whether they get Vijay award or Filmfare award is the last concern for me. I pay to watch them strut their stuff and for me to be a stalwart fan of any of them is an oxymoron. They should thank me for giving them the opportunity to eke a living. Without me, they are nothing. Same goes to politicians – without us, their boss, they will cease to exist.
First of all, if you believe any Kollywood actor buttering his fans on stage, “En udan pirappe, en nenjil kudi irukkum en rasigargale, ellam award eh vide periya award en rasigargal than,” there is no bigger fool than yourself la, seriously. That statement is generic and is as fake as Najib saying, “Saya faham masalah rakyat dan saya akan berusaha untuk mengurangkan beban rakyat tercinta.” And he goes on to impose GST. All Kollywood actors talk as though they are so caring towards their fans and call them brothers but the claim is purely rhetoric and specious.
Ajith/Vijay etc don’t give a damn if anyone dislike them or mock them. They are already on top – no amount of criticism from me or you will bring them down as long as there are movie goers. Truth is, you are insulting your own intelligence by calling yourselves a fan of any Kollywood actor and be proud of it and go on to fight with detractors of your idol of an actor. Usureh kuduthu sande poduringgele, ithukku enna award ah kudukuranggo? Try harder, maybe they will give you an award.
I find most Kollywood actors and actresses IDEAL TROLL MATERIAL and I use their pics to create memes for my articles and to post in a Facebook page I manage. I’ve posted trolling of Vijayakanth, TR, Santanam, Vadivelu etc but every time I troll any Kollywood actor who have a repository of fanatic fan following, they are quick to come to their defence, even issuing death threats and accusing me of being a fan of another actor. These loons can’t seem to grasp the idea that one can be neutral and rate actors, any actors purely based on their cinematic merit. Sure, murder a person because he happened to be a fan of another actor and troll your favourite actor or a critic like me and go to jail.
Actors do charity yes, but there’s vested interest – publicity which translates as selfishness on the part of the actors. The recent bail out of Salman Khan incriminated in drunk and driving accident case which left one man dead is being justified by his fans by the charity work he did. A life is lost and the dead guy has family members want justice to be carried out. Fans of Salman Khan rooted for him, performing poojas for him and highlighting his charity work as the reason why imprisonment imposed on him is injustice. If all those who were guilty start doing charity, then we are providing them a way to escape from punishment. Eradicating poverty by long term solutions like creating employment and empowerment is more effective than stopgaps, that is, giving poor people money, actors or other public figures alike. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he eats for a lifetime. First get rid of dependency culture. Actors won’t do the latter simply because it’s not their job and a channel for publicity will be closed as well.
It’s not about Kollywood actors anymore, it’s about cinema obsession
Guys and girls, my fellow Malaysian Indians, we are incrementally making Kollywood entertainment central to our lives.
The only way die hard fans of any Kollywood actor is able to help the dude is by boycotting the films of other Kollywood actors. But, that ain’t the case, is it? It’s not like the fans of one actor won’t watch the films of the actor they say they hate. If they don’t, then how can they troll them so accurately? “Padam muluke nadikave teriyama nadanthute irupane, avan than Ajith,” “Arasi, kotthamalli, kai kari, nee pesame nadipe vittutu maligai kadai vechiru Vijay.” In this light, epdi paathalum, anthe actors ode business success than. Neengeh tha, avinggelode die hard fans, nakkitu poringge.
And then, going for the same movie in theater numerous times, claiming, “Namma Thalaiva ode padam, oru vaati paatha pothuma? Theater le poyi paakara maari irukkuma?” I am like, “Unnai Pol Muttal Irukkuma?” GST is imposed on movie tickets and while Malaysian Indians complain about GST, them flocking to theaters when Tamil movies are released hasn’t reduced. Let me tell you guys, if you guys don’t be like howler monkeys, going ‘Hoooo, Haaaa, Heeee’ when watching Tamil films at theaters, then there will be no need to go for 2nd or 3rd time to ‘understand the movie’. I watched SICA Awards on TV and it was house full. In book fairs, free education/skill programs, motivational talks, fitness programs, sports camps, etc Indian attendance is scant.
It’s high time we reshuffle our priorities and have a paradigm shift. Loving or loathing a certain Kollywood actor, associating yourselves to fan clubs dedicated to them and fighting for them are plainly stupid and useless. What idolisation does is make people see only the person they idolise in positive light – that they are above reproach. This hampers critical thinking, sound judgment and brings fanaticism. No idea and no person is faultless. And, acting in films ain’t rocket science – they can have hundreds of retakes. The magic lies in editing. Theater demands respect as there are no retakes.
See how many retakes for just one scene. Naa kude nadikalame.
And, you know what’s really funny? Vijay,Ajith,Surya,Vikram,Vishal,Arya Paaya are all good friends in real life. They have acted together in films. So, what’s your problem? Be a fan but don’t be a fanatic and get your priorities straight.