Matinee idol is a term used mainly to describe film or theatre stars who are adored to the point of adulation by their fans and the matinee idols are generally male. On the context of matinee star idolatry in the Malaysian Indian movie scene, Rajinikanth, Vijay, Ajith, Surya etc take their respective ranks.
I was first exposed to matinee idol adulation in India during the release of Enthiran, 2010. Liters of perfectly drinkable milk was poured on Rajinikanth’s cutouts and ladies were taking pal kudams in a temple so that Enthiran would be a box office grosser. I was dumbfounded by the sheer stupidity and that stupidity revolving around Tamil matinee idol adulation has reached Malaysian shores.
How India Tamil matinee idol adulation colonized the minds of Malaysian Indians
Indians generally have the reputation to buang yang jernih dan ambil yang keruh and it is no different on how Tamil cinema matinee idol idolatry imbued the minds of Malaysians of Indian descent.
It was due to India nationals who came to work here who brought their matinee idol idolization with them and our machas emulated them.
It’s funny why Malaysian Indians are not inspired to emulate the feats of Indian nationals in NASA, their role in Silicon Valley development, IIT, JEE entrance exams, one of the toughest exams, and perhaps the hardest exams in the world to crack and the ISRO space programs.
A talk from Kamal Hassan at IIT Mumbai. Tweak your ears up at 9.01 minutes, Kamal Hassan subtly slaps the general genre of Tamil movies many of us are slaves to.
How Tamil cinema matinee idol adulation is screwing Malaysian Indians
Malaysian Indians are increasingly losing sight on what’s important and should be prioritized and what is not. For many, many Malaysian Indians, first day, first show of Superstar, Ilaya Thalapathy, Thala, etc movies is a priority. First class honours degree is optional.
The picture below which shows some machas celebrating the release of Yennai Arindhal with thare thappete in Penang, felicitating Ajith Kumar.
Many support this kind of twisted celebration on grounds of the similitude of this to ‘football team adulation and World Cup, EPL, La Liga celebration’ and that the guys are doing nothing unlawful, they are just having fun for one day.
Two wrongs doesn’t make one wrong right. Justifying this matinee idol idolatry on the basis of football team obsession is downright lame. Keep on giving this leeway, ‘these guys are having fun just a day of release’, ‘let’s let them have fun and celebrate that day’, ‘don’t see everything in negative light, see it in positive light,’ and watch our youth’s brain and money go down the drain. Judging by the looks of things, Indian brain is down in the drain, at a significant level. You will oppose ignorant permissive behaviour for Thaipusam which is also one day ‘to have fun’ but not objectionable behaviour of youth indulging in matinee idol idolatry on Tamil cinema release, pal abhishegam on Lingaa cutouts and urumi melam for Ajith’s movie.
One may question that during the duration of World Cup, places like Sunway, Bukit Bintang Times Square and Dataran Merdeka mill with football fans, paint on face, wearing the jersey of the football team they support and the roaring cheer are considered not shameful to Malaysia..?
Comparing the celebration of all races on a common ground where everyone gathers with the same mission at a common place for all to show support is different than disrupting the intent of others who go to theaters to watch, understand and enjoy a movie, Hollywood, Bollywood or Kollywood for that matter.
Celebrating together with other races by only donning football attributes is different, doing pal abhishegam and thara thapette when Rajini/Ajith/Vikram, etc films are released is different. Pal abhishegam is reserved to Hindu idols and thare thappete is our cultural music. You don’t see Malays beating kompang, do bunga manggar procession or display pencak silat when Malay/Hindi movies are released or the Chinese doing lion dance or chingay when Jackie Chan’s movies are released do you? So, when you beat urumi melam to celebrate Yennai Arinthal release, when the music is reserved for religious and cultural festivals like Thaipusam and Ponggal, what would the Malays and Chinese think? We are giving god status to actors. Is that a good impression to forward before other races here? And, screaming and howling like howler monkeys in the theater as the movie goes on. You think others, including other races pay to catch a Tamil movie only to hear you scream ah? Theater owners may not complain but trust me, many ladies and families with children only go to theaters after a week of a Kollywood matinee idol’s movie release so that they can enjoy the movie peacefully instead of hearing machas go Ha, Hoo, Hee, Wooo, Heeyy. Amaithiya padam paatha enna korenjurepothu? Amaithiya Thaipusathe kondadenum nu teriyuthu ille, anthe amaithiye eppothum kadai pidicha other races will start respecting us.
One may say, why bother about what the other races think of us, naama vali thani vali. If that is so, then you have no right to get angry when the other races level pejoratives like, ‘India kaki gaduh’, ‘India suka bising’, ‘India mabuk’, etc at you because the Indian propensity to behave in an unsavoury way is elevated. Matinee idol adulation gone insane and too far is one of the example. Malays and Chinese are not outright and forthright in showing their disapproval at the macha’s tumultuous reaction to their Tamil matinee idols’ movies on big screen and the general anarchic public behaviour of Indians but they portray their lack of trust and good opinion on Indians via other life aspects like employment and house rental. The Malays and Chinese are our fellow citizens and we are interdependent on them, like it or not. Nowadays, employment ads have Melayu/Cina sahaja layak memohon. Kenapa orang India tidak dianggap layak untuk bekerja sebagai general worker dan sebaliknya orang Melayu lebih cenderung ambil orang Bangladesh? Sebab cara orang India rata-rata membawa diri di khalayak orang ramai, tak beradab dan tak bertempat. Sekarang iklan sewa rumah pun tulis, ‘Melayu/Cina sahaja. Kenapa? Faham-fahamlah. Boleh beli tiket untuk filem Tamil, hari pertama dan tayangan pertama tapi tiada duit untuk bayar sewa rumah. Public behaviour does make an impact. You may point out institutionalized racism in this country and I agree because I am a victim of the system as well but most Indians ain’t angels. Indians here are not faultless and flawless.
I was berated recently by some holier than thou machas because I supposedly expose everything that is wrong about Malaysian Indians to other races and shame them in broad daylight. I’m like.. What? I’m broadcasting Indian dilemmas to the whole world? Nope, it’s within an incestuous circle. I am creating awareness as opposed to Indians creating havoc. By behaving the way you do in theaters, public display of pal abhishegam on Lingaa cutouts and thara thapette outside the theater, you are defiling Indian image in front of other races, not me. How does sweeping garbage under the carpet so that others can’t see it help dispose the garbage? You can pretend that the garbage has been disposed off but you cannot prevent the stench from the garbage from assaulting the nostrils of others and yours as well. As you continuously sweep under the carpet, the garbage accumulates and will one day explode. Ignoring the problem won’t solve the problem.
It’s up to you to have some self respect, self retrospection and introspection.
It seems they are celebrating Thala’s 55 th movie or 50th movie, I don’t know but why I don’t see these guys celebrating/welcoming Indian students who won Double Gold Award in the British Invention competition? Which event they should be happy about, exhort and encourage? The already filthy rich and are only going to get richer Tamil cinema matinee idols’ movie releases or the budding Indian inventors/scientists of Malaysia?
Datukship for Rajinikanth, the south Indian matinee idol
Now, some Indians here are having an uprising for Rajinikanth to be conferred datukship, making a brilliant equation on par with Einstein’s E = mc2 that for the Malays, Shahrukh Khan has been given datukship, for the Chinese, Jackie Chan so for the Indians, Rajinikanth. An online petition has been made to suggest Rajinikanth be given datukship.
There are many Indians here who will vote for BN or PR for that matter if Rajini is conferred Datukship under any government forming political coalition. That’s how low Indian mentality has become due to hyped up cinematic obsession. Astro and THR Raaga too has an active role in propagating entertainment first, the rest, next.
I am seeing many Malaysians of Indian descent complaining that the Malays are out to distort the history of Indians by printing unfounded historic claims in secondary school history textbooks. But I see only complains, almost zero effort is put into pressuring the Malays in a proper, overreaching channel to get the matter across and echo. Can start a petition for Rajinikanth to be conferred datukship but not start a petition to safeguard our history. Pray tell, which is important? This is why I am writing this.
One macha asked me, what did I do for the Indian community here except shaming Indians. Indians here need to take in the meaning of constructive criticism and not get agitated when anyone speaks the inconvenient and bitter truth. I never mince my words. It’s not my job and that’s not how I roll. I’m caustic and I have bloody good reasons to be so.
I wrote 6000++ words, well researched, journal quoted, chronologically correct, critically thought out, exhaustively explained article debunking Malay copyright on Indian history and ethos and you know the response I got from Indians? “Well, it’s too long. Bore adikethe pa..” Can sit and watch Tamil movies for 3 hours straight, can make effort to enjoy football by painting face, stay up overnight, can make effort to do urumi melam on Yennai Arinthal release, scream Thala, Thala until throat gets hoarse but can’t read up on your own history that is given to you FOR FREE. I write a lot of inspirational stuff along with critical stuff to benefit Malaysian Indians and that too FOC but almost no one makes the effort to READ THEM. That’s why I am criticizing this. Where is the Indian priority? Obviously not in the correct order! Watch Tamil movies, even I do but do know the difference between priority and choice. It’s not about these gigs not being against the law – it’s about priority. I know it’s your money and your life but if you have your priorities screwed up, then your money and life will bid farewell to you.
Ever wondered why there are memes like the above in my articles? It’s because cinematic culture has so imbibed the minds of Indians here it has become inseparable, I have to inject fun amid serious business to get my articles read. Like Kamal Hassan says in Vasool Raja MBBS, “Cinema le masala kekkuranggo, operation theater le kude masala kekkuranggo.” Same reason why I painstakingly create funny memes to intersperse in my articles. Appeyachom padichi mudipangge nu oru alpa aasai. I am your custom made and character fluid Vadivelu, Goundamani, Senthil, Vivek and Santanam. It is not two face as some of you might deduce; it’s a necessitated and newfangled Indian psychology that I grasped through experience.
Stop fighting for your favourite matinee idol and start fighting for our community
The stupidity revolving around machas and machis defending their favourite Tamil matinee idols is nothing short of preposterous, dumbfounding, unfettered and flagrant. The rot has already set deep in and it is potentially FUBAR and the shocking thing is, these machas and machis seem to have no idea that as the most marginalized, contemptible and relegated race in this country, they can’t afford to waste time, energy and breath defending matinee idols who contributed nil to the betterment of Indians in this country. And, then they stupidly start arguing what Shahrukh Khan and Jackie Chan did to deserve datukship and why don’t the govt award datuk title to Rajinikath to make it even. Let me tell you that the datuk title has lost its significance, respect and weight ever since a certain Indian bimbo and a religious conman got the title. Nowadays, the title can be bought if you are a crook even.
Indians here are getting offended when actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vijay, Ajith, Surya, Vikram, etc are trolled not to mention when sensible Indians which is becoming an endangered species denounce the wasteful and shallow stunts performed during Tamil matinee idols’ movies release, like the macha above saying, “Thalaku ithevum seivom, ithakku meleyum seivom!” But, Indians here are not offended when temple committees rake up millions of $$ for religious festivals and all of it goes into their pockets while they put a facade that they are giving back to society, MIC goons pocketing fund allocation for Tamil schools, internal dissonance within Indians and other a matter of progression issues.
Also if an Indian with common sense point out the imbecilic matinee idol adulation on one post about Ajith for example, matinee idol worshipers here who happen to be Ajith’s fan would immediately jump into the fanatic conclusion that the sensible person who’s criticizing the idiotic actor idolatry as a whole is Vijay fan or Surya fan and vice versa. Their thinking capacity is that low that I doubt they’ll pass PT3’s Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
The last thing we ever need is a catalyst for more competition to see who can outdo which fan club, for which movie star’s release so please wake up and smell the reality and abandon Tamil movie heroes worshiping. START THINKING AND RESHUFFLE OUR PRIORITIES. OUR VERY FUTURE DEPENDS ON WHAT WE DO NOW.