With the launch of his political party Tamizhaga Vetri Kazhagam earlier this week, ‘Thalapathy’ Vijay has joined the long list of Tamil actors joining politics. In a letter, he said that the party would contest the 2026 Tamil Nadu State Assembly elections.
Vijay’s entry into active politics was announced with the clarification that his target is the 2026 state election. He said that he wouldn’t be participating in the upcoming national election in any way. Given how often his characters win on screen, it wasn’t entirely a surprise his political party will be called ‘Tamilaka Vetri Kazhagam’ (TVK), which roughly translates to Tamil Nadu Victory Association.
Fans of ‘Thalapathy (General)’, as Vijay is known to them, celebrated in the streets and on social media. The ruling DMK and the opposition BJP conveyed their best wishes to the actor on his new career path.
A bumpy road for stars
- Tamil Nadu has a long history of cinema stars in politics. MGR, K Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa ruled state politics for about 50 years.
- However, several stars tried their hands in recent times but not with great success.
- Kamal Haasan started the Makkal Needhi Maiam. Rajinikanth formed the Rajini Makkal Mandram in the previous decade.
- While Kamal Haasan is still politically active, Rajinikanth abandoned politics due to health issues.
- Vijayakanth, who passed away in December, formed the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) in 2005, became MLA twice and served as LoP during 2011-16 but power eluded him.
- Tamil Nadu CM Stalin’s son Udaynidhi has starred in films and is a sports minister who isn’t averse to raking up controversy. He’s also the heir apparentin the DMK.
Can Vijay be the disrupter?
- Vijay, currently doing a film titled ‘GOAT’ and will do one more before he retiresfrom films for a full-time role in politics, enters politics when the AIADMK seems divided, the BJP is trying to make inroads and the DMK is attempting to cement its hold.
- The question is whether he gets a starring role or will have to settle for a guest role.
- The actor said administrative malpractices, corrupt political culture and a divisive political culture were obstacles to the state’s unity and progress.
A statement issued by the new political party stated: “You are all aware of the current political climate. Administrative malpractices and corrupt political culture on the one hand, and a divisive political culture which strives to divide our people on the lines of caste and religion on the other hand. Everyone, especially, in Tamil Nadu is yearning for a fundamental political change that can lead to a selfless, transparent, caste-free, visionary, corruption-free and efficient administration.”
Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar, known as Vijay, is an Indian actor, dancer, playback singer and philanthropist who works predominantly in Tamil cinema and also appeared in other Indian languages films. Referred to by fans and media as “Thalapathy” (commander), Vijay is the highest paid actor in Tamil cinema. He has significant fan following globally. He has won numerous awards, including eight Vijay Awards by Star India, three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards by Government of Tamil Nadu, and a SIIMA Award. He has been included several times in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list, based on the earnings of Indian celebrities.
Vijay said, “As far as I am concerned, politics is not just another profession; it is a sacred service to the people… I wish to fully immerse myself in politics for public service after completing my commitments to another film I have already committed to, without causing any disruption to party activities. This is what I consider my gratitude and duty to the people of Tamil Nadu.”