“After several years, Thala and Thalapathy have acted together in a movie called ‘Regime Change’, which released today and doing extremely well,” said a Twitter user on Tuesday, with the hashtag #VoteForDMKAlliance. The accompanying pictures were that of actor Vijay on his red-and-black cycle as he came to vote, and his contemporary and biggest rival in the industry, actor Ajith, wearing a red-and-black mask — the colours of the DMK party.
Vijay and Ajith both have a huge fan base in the state, and their respective fans frequently fight each other on social media. But when it came to speculating over the actors’ votes this election, several media persons and people — including a large number of DMK supporters — have ascribed motives to their choice of cycle and mask. The commenters believe this was their subtle way of showing support for the DMK, which is hoping to make a comeback after 10 years in the state.
Others of course pointed out that Vijay was also wearing a green shirt — the colour of the incumbent AIADMK — suggesting that reading too much symbolism into his cycle was wrong. Meanwhile, some others shared a speech of Ajith from 2010, where he hit out at politicians for forcing actors to attend political functions. The speech was made in front of then-Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi, and while Ajith didn’t name any party, it was seen as a direct rebuke to the DMK.
In Vijay’s case, it’s not just the colour of the cycle, but the cycle itself that came in for speculation — that this was the actor’s protest against rising fuel prices. However, Vijay’s team clarified that the only reason he took the cycle to the polling booth was because it was one street away from his house, and taking a car would have blocked the narrow road.
Both Ajith and Vijay have not supported any political party overtly, but because of their huge fan base, it’s only expected that their every action is watched closely, say observers.