Rajnikanth was responding to questions at the NDTV
Indian of the Year Awards in New Delhi on January 17,
where he accepted the award for Entertainer of the Year
from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
evening saw some of the biggest filmstars under one
roof, with Shah Rukh Khan and
Karan Johar joining Rajnikanth. While NDTV's
Sreenivasan Jain interviewed Rajnikanth,
SRK and Karan Johar also played journalist and quized
the superstar. Here is the transcript of the interview:
NDTV: Many congratulations. It's fantastic to
have you here in our midst. It is so difficult to make
you leave Chennai and Tamil Nadu.
Rajni: Indeed, it is a very different
occasion for me. I am honoured to receive the award from
the golden hands of our Prime Minister and political
saint Manmohan Singhji. I am thankful to NDTV
and all the people who voted for me and the people who
NDTV: One of the reasons why it is difficult for
you to leave Chennai is because you bring the whole city
to a standstill. Is that true that once you had to go to
the airport and when you got out of the car, the whole
city came to a halt?
Rajni: It is just a rumour.
NDTV: Or only half a city?
Rajni: No, it is the whole media thing.
It is not a fact.
NDTV: Let me ask you that when it comes to
recognising Indian cinema, it becomes very Bollywood
centric. Not many people outside of South India know
that you are one of the highest paid actors in India.
Rajni: Who said I am the highest paid
NDTV: You are saying that because the finance
minister is here. But we know that you are a superstar
not only in South India but all over the world. You have
a following as far as Japan. Do you feel that the South
does not get enough of recognition when it comes to
recognising Indian cinema?
Rajni: No, it's distorted actually.
People have started recognising South Indian films and
South Indian technicians and artists, thanks to the
NDTV: Now the question that many journalists
have been trying to ask is: when are you formally going
to take the plunge into politics? I know you have made
many endorsements in the past to different parties, so
just when are you going to dive in?
Rajni: I believe in destiny. Day before
yesterday, I did not know that I will be here. I don't
know what will happen tomorrow. But I believe in God and
whatever God orders me to do, I will do.
NDTV: That's a very politically correct answer.
But what does it actually mean? Does it mean DMK, AIADMK,
or the Congress?
Rajni: Actually, God has given me a
role to play, an actor's role. If he gives me a
politician's role, definitely I will do it.
NDTV: Okay, so you are not ruling that out?
Rajni: I told you: destiny.
NDTV: Someone from the Hindi film fraternity
will ask questions: Karan Johar?
Karan Johar: Who do you regard as actor par
excellence in the Bombay film fraternity?
Rajni: Amitabh Bachchan
NDTV: You have said earlier that you are the
Badshah but he is the Shahenshah. There is another
Badshah in the audience. Shah Rukh wants to ask Rajni a
Shah Rukh: What does one do to become Shahenshah,
Rajni: I am telling you, Shah Rukh, you
will one day become Shahenshah.
NDTV: Do you want to ask Shah Rukh a question,
or say something to him?
Rajni: He is an excellent actor. One
thing I like about him is his integrity. He is very
serious to promote our Indian sports, like hockey. Hats
off to you. I saw that picture, Chak De. I will
try to do that kind of a role, Shah Rukh.
Shah Rukh: Thank you sir. But I notice that you
are just talking about my sports and not my acting.
Anyway, God bless you and it is an honour and a
wonderful thing to have you here in our midst.