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By Behindwoods Visitor Joseph David isn't responsible for the views expressed by the visitor in this column.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled 'Celebrities Should Be Role Models' which was published in Behindwoods. In that article, I wrote about how celebrities are looked upon as influencers and therefore the onus lies on them to portray themselves as role models to their fans. I also touched on one specific person, Mr Rajinikanth and expressed my dissatisfaction over his silence when his fans decided to celebrate his return from Singapore at a time when the country was reeling from the aftermaths of the Mumbai incident. My issue was that Mr Rajinikanth did not comment or persuade his fans to review their plans.

What happened afterwards was I was barraged with hoards of emails from people claiming to be Rajini fans, 95% of which were vulgar and abusive bereft of reasoning or intelligence. That got me thinking. I am pretty sure that the really intelligent and level-headed fans of Rajini would never resort to such behavior. At any instance, I welcome an intelligent chat that is thought-provoking and logical, but engaging in abusive language driven by blind unguarded emotions is not what I call sensible behavior.

I am not an ardent fan of Rajini, but he is surely on my top 10 list of favorite actors. I admire his performance but I also criticize him for the goofs he engages in his movies. I did the same for Mr Sivaji Ganesan and I do the same for Kamal, Suriya, Vijay, Ajith and Vikram, who are all on my top 10 list. I am not a blind bat who would agree with everything they do just because I like them. It would probably be unfair to expect everyone to be like me, and I don't. But the least one could expect from a civilized society is traces of decency, intelligence and logic.

Celebrities depend on fans for their survival, and fans being regular people, one can never satisfy everyone all the time. The same fans who made a mediocre masala movie like Sakalakala Vallavan a hit are the ones who turned away from the classic Anbey Sivam. Performance wise, Rajini was much better in Kuselan, albeit in a smaller role, than in Enthiran or Sivaji. Kuselan flopped. Why? The fans again! The list goes on. The bottomline is fans make the difference.

But who is a real fan? Is he the one who would rave at the crappiest movie just because his favorite actor is in it? Or is he going to be one who makes sound judgments based on fairness and truth? In my earlier article, I wrote that Indian film fans are an emotional lot, and they are. Not even in Hollywood would one find fans swarming around celebrities. I was in a restaurant in Hollywood a few years ago, and guess what? Sylvester Stallone walks in, orders his takeaway, pays and walks away. People said hi and that's it. Nobody treated him like a demi-god. Imagine Suriya walking into Saravana Bhavan, and what do you have? Chaos. I am not saying it is wrong to go gaga over a celebrity, but my point is everything has to be done in moderation.

A true fan is one who is concerned about the success of his favorite star. He helps the star chart his course. A true fan is a critic and an educator. He sets the benchmark that stars follow. If fans keep tolerating and raving blindly, stars would never grow or improve. Rather the adoration and adulation only makes stars complacent and conceited.

It doesn't matter if you are a Sivaji, MGR, Kamal, Rajini or any actor's fan. It is your right to be one. At the same be sensible and constructive. Contribute to the improvement of the industry not just with your money but with your ideas and fair criticism. Your blind raving and vain babbling don't augur well for you and for the reputation of your favorite star. For all the mess that fans create in the name of admiration, it is the star who gets the flak.

To those who sent me those abusive emails, I can only smile and say, you are not Mr Rajinikanth's real fans. Think about it!

Joseph David

Tags :Rajinikanth,Kuselan,Kamal Haasan,Anbey Sivam,Endhiran,Sivaji

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