A recent article by Ananda Vikatan on the Rajni's volte-face in the Hogenekkal controversy is a slap on the face of Rajnikanth. Rajni spoke very bravely espousing the cause of Tamil Nadu in the Hognekal water issue with Karnataka few months back. In no time, few days back, prior to the release of his latest film "Kuselan" he went on to regret what he spoke during that public meeting on this issue, that is, against Kannadigas and Karnataka. Though he has clarified that he has only regretted the harsh words on entire Kannadiga community (In Tamil - uthaikannum, meaning these guys should be kicked) it has nevertheless reduced his status as a Tamil Superstar in the minds of Tamilians.
I really felt that the usual pomp and festivity whenever his films are released was missing this time. May be, due to the fact that he is doing a guest role. But the fact is that he has larger screen presence compared to the original hero of the movie, Pasupathy.
Rajni has to really be very careful because he is being watched so closely. Though it is a well-known fact that he is a person born and brought up in Karnataka before he made name and fame in Tamil movies, the Tamil audiences have always considered him more Tamil than anybody else. Things hotted up when the Kannadiga groups objected to the release of Kuselan in Bangalore/Karnataka due to his outbursts against Karnataka during the Hognekal agitation. He would have remained quiet since I think Karnataka would not be a very big market. He could have held his head high. But alas, I guess this time his "Guru" would have been his Sathru.. in the sense.. Balachander has produced the film so he would have exerted pressure on him to find a way out of the imbroglio.. so he would have went ahead and regretted his words. There is nothing wrong in somebody regretting words or clarifying things but when it comes to Rajni and Karnataka-Tamilnadu water dispute, it becomes very serious.
Anyways, Kuselan was a damp squib, thats what I read so far.. a close second to Dasavatharam.