Bangalore: South Indian stars are entering politics at a rapid pace but there are two names in a list of stars that did not join politics - Rajkumar in Karnataka and the man who's yet to answer the political question in Tamil Nadu, superstar Rajinikanth.
When Rajinikanth got involved in the Hogenekkal issue, he learnt to his chagrin that staying away from politics was the best thing to do.
"Some mistakes happen. We should not repeat mistakes," he had said then.
Though the superstar makes serious political commentary in reel life, he's reluctant to switch to the role of a neta (politician) in real life and says a strict no to politics.
And this is one trait he shares with Karnataka's matinee idol Rajkumar.
Rajkumar pioneered several campaigns for Kannada like the Gokak movement, but stayed away from politics. Two decades ago, when parties tried to persuade him to contest elections, Rajkumar preferred to go underground than give in.
His son, Raghavendra Rajkumar says, "Once you join some party, people start hating you. And my father always used to say, 'I don't know something and I don't want to be in it'. This is the one thing that kept him from joining politics."
From film studios to the Vidhana Soudha, it's not an easy jump, especially for mega-stars who want to keep out of controversy. In fact there are some actors who felt that they would lose some popularity if they joined politics. But there are also others who found there's great power in both roles.
In the past six years alone, at least nine actors have contested elections and political parties have used their popularity for electoral gains in some regions in the state.
(With inputs from Sandhya Ravishankar)