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Lists/2012 Celebrity 100 | Feb 1, 2013 | 52046 views

Who Will Inherit Rajinikanth's Throne?

There are three strong contenders
Who Will Inherit Rajinikanth's Throne?
Image: Venkat Ram

Forbes India Celebrity 100 No. 28

Vijay  
Age: 38
Nickname
Ilayathalapathi (young commander)
Biggest hits
Kadhalukku Mariyadhai, Ghilli, Nanban, and Thuppakki
What makes him click
Complete package: Comedy, dance, fights
Why producers are betting on him
A mass hero, with a fan base across age and gender
Fast facts
Son of director/producer SA Chandrasekhar, campaigned for AIADMK
Punch line
“Oru Vatti Mudivu Pannitenna En Peacha Nane Kekkamaten”—Pokkiri (Once I’ve made a decision, I won’t even listen to disagreement from myself)



Superstar yarunu kaeta chinna kozhandayum sollum

(If you ask who the superstar is, even a small child will tell you)
- from a song in Raja Chinna Roja

I am a little star, aaven naan superstar
(I will become a superstar)
- from a song in Samsara Sangeetham

There was a time in Tamil Nadu when these two songs would blare from every other tea shop loudspeaker, on All India Radio programmes (like Neyar Viruppam, or ‘Audience Choice’), and on tape recorders in drawing rooms across the state. There were no similarities between the two, either in tune or in setting. One featured Rajinikanth, the undisputed superstar, and the other a five-year-old boy, the son of an ambitious producer, director and actor. But the first lines of both songs captured a reality and an aspiration that defined Tamil cinema in 1989, the year those films hit the screens.

And they capture the reality today, 23 years later: Rajinikanth is still the superstar, and it’s every actor’s dream to inherit the title from him.

Much is promised to the winner. Superstardom means the extreme affection of the people. In May 2011, when Rajinikanth was hospitalised, many of his fans cried and went without food for days, praying for his recovery. There were special pujas in temples and at homes.

Superstardom also means immense political influence. Even though Rajinikanth has kept himself out of politics in the last several years, many remember how his campaign in 1996 dethroned Jayalalithaa. (His famous line, ‘Even God cannot save Tamil Nadu if the AIADMK returns to power’, went viral, just like the ones he delivers on screen.)

It also means national recognition. While most Tamil stars are hardly known outside the southern states, Rajini is well known across the country, and even in a few overseas markets (he has a huge fan following in Japan). His fame seems to be only growing, says SP Muthuraman, who has worked with Rajinikanth in 25 films. And, of course, it means wealth: Rajinikanth gets Rs 35 crore for a movie, according to at least four people in the industry.
 
Rajinikanth is still the undisputed No. 1 in Tamil cinema. But things have changed too. Despite what the innumerable jokes—or the kind of roles that he takes up in movies—suggest, he is getting older: He is 62. He is not doing as many films as he used to. In the year Raja Chinna Roja was released (1989), he acted in six other movies. Now, he takes up one project in two-three years. His next film, Kochadaiyaan, is an animation feature. While no one suggests the Rajini phenomenon has run its course, talk about who will occupy his throne once he vacates it is getting louder in his adopted home state. (Rajini is a Maratha. His original name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad).

This is not the first time that the topic has come up. Several names have popped up in the past, including Vijayakanth, Karthik (son of yesteryear actor R Muthuraman) and Prabhu (son of Sivaji Ganesan). Rajini outran all his prospective successors. Vijayakanth and Karthik have launched political parties; Prabhu plays supporting roles.

In theory, any of the top actors have a chance of claiming the title. Vijay, Ajith, Suriya and Vikram are at the top rung. On the rung below are Dhanush and Silambarasan—both relatively young and still in the process of establishing their fan base. Vikram has delivered a number of hits, but lacks the base that the top three have.

This article appeared in the Forbes India magazine issue of 08 February, 2013
Next Article in 2012 Celebrity 100
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Comments (74)
Ashok Sep 10, 2014
vijay films 'ghilli'2004(original 'okkadu' mahesh babu super hit film 2003).
'Pokkiri' 2007(original 'pokiri' mahesh babu super hit film).
Vijay copying acting,movies,style,dialogue delivery,style,dressing from mahesh babu.
Vijay is not ilaya thalapathy.Vijay is just copying thalapathy.
Ramboragul Aug 7, 2014
Surya is next super star
Aravind Raja Aug 1, 2014
Vikram is acting in different roles like Kamal Hasan.He will be real super star in film industry next to Rajinikanth.
Suhail Ahamed Jul 30, 2014
There is an only superstar, not be more. only superstar is RAJINI. I surely said vijay is not an next superstar. Because he is an worst actor in tamil cinema. vijay sethupathi do a different characters, but vijay do the same mass acting and he do lot of remake films. But he is the next REMAKE KING of whole Indian cinema.
Response to Suhail Ahamed:
Karthick Oct 15, 2014
Then what about movies Rajni remaked. He is the remake king. All the 80% of blockbuster movies he gave are remakes. Nobody is saying vijay is going to use the title superstar. it is a way of speech. Those days in 80's they would have asked who is next MGR. These polls said Vijay will be in the line of MGR and Rajni as top guy but not replace them
D.d.r Jul 24, 2014
Vijay is not next superstar, ever never only one superstar in Tamil cinema field i.e. Rajini sir only
Response to D.d.r:
Prasanna Jul 25, 2014
correct bro.. each n every one has ter identity only one superstar tat is our superstar rajini
Selvamjaykar Jun 26, 2014
Thalapathy na mass . He is next superstar of india






thalapathy na masss . He is next superstar
Kumaravel Jun 23, 2014
No one can even touch our Thalaivar's Shadow, That is RAJINI
Kumar Apr 7, 2014
vijay the best
Ravi Feb 17, 2014
Vijay sir always rocks. he is the next super star of tamilnadu.
Arul Dec 27, 2013
i would say no one can become the next superstar. There is only one superstar in tamilnadu or in india and that is our one and only RAJINIKANTH sir. I am a fan of illayathalapathi vijay but for this thing i wont agree with any actors. I'm also adding a point that VIJAY anna inherits some of the noble qualities that Rajini sir has.
Response to Arul:
Karthick Oct 15, 2014
Nobody is saying vijay is going to use the title superstar. it is a way of speech. Those days in 80's they would have asked who is next MGR. These polls said Vijay will be in the line of MGR and Rajni as top guy but not replace them
Aruthra Dec 14, 2013
I'd tell Surya is a great actor based on both fan wise and his hardworks. Surya is better than Ajith or Vijay

Even girls and many families only like Surya, not the actors like ajith or vijay (who have fans of age 18-25 only)

Also, none can be the next superstar, Thalaivar idathai yaralaiyum pudikka mudiyathu kanna ;)

always surya na fan :D
Ashok Dec 13, 2013
i am sure surya will have a huge fan base than ajith n vijay when surya's 50 th movies is releasing

as a surya fan i don't want to see surya as next super star and no nick names before his name surya..

always surya na fan :)
Shalini Dec 11, 2013
All girls like Vijay or Suriya......And comparing Rajini....Vijay has all the qualities..style etc...So Vijay........................I agree..
Rajesh Dec 11, 2013
No doubt...its Vijay
Shashiraj.s Nov 24, 2013
talaiva vijay only the king of kollywood thats shows its similarity after rajini sir he is the superstar
Shashiraj,s Nov 24, 2013
talaiva is all ways king of kollywood, he is the next super star of kollywood after rajini sir
Lxbhsh Nov 16, 2013
MAHESH BABU is the only superstar from south india after rajini.Tamil heros are local stars not super stars.
Who is this vijay
Karthick Raja Nov 10, 2013
vijay is the next super star......
Ashwath Nov 2, 2013
AJITH is the next super star!!!!he never needs any publicity and he is the only man of giving hit with salt and pepper hair style!!!!
Ajeesh Nov 1, 2013
Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay da..
Vinoth Nov 1, 2013
Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay rockssssss...............
Venkatesh Oct 14, 2013
vijay is real king of kollywood he bertter than surya and ajith
Sham Prince Oct 6, 2013
always ilaya thalapathy vijay. he is the real king of kollywood.
Mohan Premalal Oct 2, 2013
vijay is the allways king in india and srilanka.i am a srilankan.
Venkey Sep 30, 2013
vijay is no1
Baap Of All Sep 29, 2013
All India agrees that
MAHESH BABU Is the only SOUTH SUPER STAR after rajini.And all other tamil heros are local stars only.
And who is this vijay?
Response to Baap Of All:
Kishan Feb 2, 2014
First of all.... I am from andhra.... I like mahesh babu a lot.... At the same time vijay anna too.... Looking at ur cmnt... I was not able to stop myself replying ur cmnt... See u r backing a gud actor in our industry to be the superstar.... Thats pretty gud.... At the same time u r making such a ridiculous and futile cmnt in which FORBES INDIA has mentioned the same person whom u had stated as "who is he" as a strong contender for that position.... So think once before making such comments in a social website.... Jus see the below comments.... (Y)
Response to Kishan:
Rahul Sep 10, 2014
Dude, I am from Kerala. let me ask one thing, who is Mahesh babu?? :D/
Vijay is famous in kerala, tn, andra and karnataka. you just go to tamil nadu and kerala and ask people if they have seen mahesh babu movies. Even more people would have watched allu arkun movies that mahesh babu movies, as they get dubbed releases all over kerala and TN. get your facts correct.
Krishna Sep 19, 2013
Thala is best forever.... What a stylish person he is... after superstar thala only
Brijith Ka Sep 14, 2013
thalapathy vijay annan daa...he always rockz...after rajini sir its our vijay annaaaaaa...
Samanth789 Sep 13, 2013
prince mahesh babu looks like hollywood actor he is the second sexiest and craziest star in india after sharukh khan @sharuk also agrees that he replace rajnikanth in india
Lenin Aug 30, 2013
In Srilanka Vijay has Sinhala fans also
Lenin Aug 30, 2013
I am a SriLankan.In Srilanka @ Europe VIJAY has the most fan following.Please don't angry with me Srilankans don't know who is Mahesh babu please tell who is that @ tell the name of his Tamil remake films
Response to Lenin:
Krishna Sep 24, 2013
Your VIJAY's Ghilli and Pokkiri were remakes of Mahesh Babu's movies Okkadu and Pokiri in Telugu.
Vijay Fan Aug 6, 2013
Next rajini is our chinna mgr 'Dr.Ilaiya thalapathy vijay'.
No body can touch us.
Michel Jul 24, 2013
ok,i agree u,no one can replace rajni,we are not talking about superstar position,in every era their will be a super star,before death of M.G.R,Sivaji they were superstars,after them era of rajni,kamal in that period rajini is superstar,we are talking about superstar of current generation,before commenting understand what they are talking about.in that point there are three stars for that title vijay,ajith and suriya,amoung tham my choice is ever green vijay...................thalaivaa vijay
M.hassan Jul 8, 2013
Im a Srilankan..No one can replace Rajni sir..!!
he rulz..!!
Ashok Apr 18, 2013
vijay only can be compare with rajini sir by fan's concern
Umesh Apr 10, 2013
rajini sir is always great... after rajini sir only our thalapathy vijay anna can take this place in fan based really vijay is great actor with complete package with acting skills, dancing, comedy, action... proud to be rajini and vijay anna fan
Mohamed Asmil Apr 2, 2013
Vijay is always rock next superstsr
Priya Mar 5, 2013
Rajini sir is really great but after Rajini sir I prefer Vijay bcoz he is better than others and he has huge fans after Superstar Rajinikanth sir.
Vignesh Mar 1, 2013
i m a big fan of my thalaivar rajini sir. my suggestion is vijay only. bcos after rajini he's the only actor having more fans in south india. from child to old peoples all are liking vijay after rajini sir. so vijay only suitable for next superstar in south india. of course vijay having many haters in tamilnadu but also having many fans club n many fans in all over south india.once rajini sir itself told vijay only be next superstar nu.thala acting also very nice but he cant attract elders. just young persons specially boys only liking thala. but our vijay attract all generations. the reason is he having more talent in commercial actings.thats why my opition is vijay after rajini sir.
Dinesh Feb 10, 2013
thala ajith,next superstar marana mass da...
Navanee Feb 7, 2013
"Illaya thalapthi" VIJAY the nex super star in tamil industry. because childs, womens, boys, girls, old man and womens we r feel about him in our own boy. Innecent smile break all tension. we r waiting announced vijay the next super star. already announced past year private channel announced vijay. i know i talk about good english sentance but i intrested say about vijay anna. thank u sir.......
Response to Navanee:
Amk Feb 13, 2013
Dey kannungalaaa Inniku mattum illae Ennaikumae SUPERSTAR nu sonnae Athu Engae THALAIVAR RAJNI mattum thaanda ... I bet you people even after 10 years from now same kind of argument will be there .... Who is next superstart? I bet you on one more fact by that time all your starts would have vanished in to a dark. May be they will be treated like a comedian .. Don't you remember how T.R was once .. Vijayakanth was once ... Ramaraj was once .... So Thalapathy is future T.R or Vijayakanth .. ha ha ha ha ha .... Podi pasangala... poi velayae paarungada
Paranthaman Feb 6, 2013
Thala Ajith will be next Superstar...
Vinay Feb 5, 2013
Mahesh babu is most popular superstar after Rajnikant in south India. Please post an article on Mahesh mania-the no1 tollywood hero.
Ash Feb 5, 2013
Ok u know what, i totally disagree with you. Ok before i start yes i understand Superstar is Superstar, no one can replace him, but the thing now is, who will the next number one, and the obvious answer is THALA AJITH!!

Vijay similar to Rajni? what nonsense. Vijay was promoted from young by his father. He and his father was with DMK and the ran to Jayalalitha when they won the elections. Everyone knew that.

Thala Ajith : The one man warrior. No background support!! ( U forgot That!! ) He did not have any help, he does not promote his charity work like Surya, he did deliver flops, but then he still won the heart of millions not only in TN but also in Singapore, UK and Malaysia.

Now in terms of popularity, u remember the time in the 90s where movies use to have scenes of Rajni, or Rajni songs just to attract the audience? Nowadays its Thala Ajith, u dont see that in Surya or Vijay.

Examples of Movies : SMS, Mappilai, Ambasamuthira Ambani, Silambattam, Manmadhan, Maayavi, Vettai, Osthe.

Check out videos of pattimandram by Leoni, even he uses Ajith to get the crowd to react.

Watch videos of people's reaction when they say the word ajith be it in theatre, colleges or talk shows. The crowd starts whistling, screaming.

ALL THIS MAKES HIM THE CLEAR NEXT NO 1 in TAMIL NADU!

Thank You.

Ash Malaysia.
Response to Ash:
Thalabathy Veriyan May 22, 2013
Thalabathy vijay is the next super star...
Ajith is only popular in Tamilnadu...I accept he have good fan base in TN...but what about KERALA and Karnataka where his biggest hits like Mankata,billa were not even recognised...a super star shld be a star everywhere........As far as vijay is concerned his most of the filmas which were flops in TN have become hits in kerala----Ajith is way far behind thalabathy
Ash Feb 5, 2013
Ok u know what, i totally disagree with you. Ok before i start yes i understand Superstar is Superstar, no one can replace him, but the thing now is, who will the next number one, and the obvious answer is THALA AJITH!!

Vijay similar to Rajni? No Way. Vijay was promoted from young by his father. He and his father was with DMK and the ran to Jayalalitha when they won the elections. Everyone knew that.

Thala Ajith : The one man warrior. No background support!! ( U forgot That!! ) He did not have any help, he does not promote his charity work like Surya, he did deliver flops, but then he still won the heart of millions not only in TN but also in Singapore, UK and Malaysia.

Now in terms of popularity, u remember the time in the 90s where movies use to have scenes of Rajni, or Rajni songs just to attract the audience? Nowadays its Thala Ajith, u dont see that in Surya or Vijay.

Examples of Movies : SMS, Mappilai, Ambasamuthira Ambani, Silambattam, Manmadhan, Maayavi, Vettai, Osthe.

Check out videos of pattimandram by Leoni, even he uses Ajith to get the crowd to react.

Watch videos of people's reaction when they say the word ajith be it in theatre, colleges or talk shows. The crowd starts whistling, screaming.

ALL THIS MAKES HIM THE CLEAR NEXT NO 1 in TAMIL NADU!

Thank You.

Ash Malaysia.
Karthik O Positive Feb 4, 2013
Stars may come, Stars may go.. But the Superstar remains forever..
Although he releases one film in two years, The mass and craze which the people of Tamil Nadu, His fans have on him has never gone low, He is the only star on earth whose mass image keeps on increasing every year more than his age, It is Superstar Rajinikanth who is been invited by USA (Maryland Governor) as Special guest, It's Superstar's Enthiran which opened the world wide market for Tamil films,He has the power to change anything, Millions of strong youngsters are with him, But he never uses them for his own good, He asks his fans to look after their family first, When there are stars who do things for publicity in front of the camera, He is the only Star who lives a simple life despite his Superstardom, I strongly disagree with FORBES article of who will inherit Superstar's throne, Even in dream it will not happen.. Please come to Tamil Nadu and watch out the audio launch celebration of Kochadaiayaan, Rajini fans celebrate the audio launch itself as a big festival, Then think what will happen when the movie release.. THE MOST POWERFUL STAR WHO HAS THE MOST POWERFUL FANS.
Gopi Feb 4, 2013
Thala only da. . .
Aryan Feb 3, 2013
Always RAJINIKANTH..........
Ram Feb 3, 2013
Thala is the next super star!!!!!
Dim Feb 2, 2013
Is this a paid advertisement for Vijay? By the way, there is no one to inherit Rajini's throne. Though I am not a big time Rajini fan, I would say, like Suryan, Chandran.....there is only one superstar - The Rajini.
Madasamy Feb 2, 2013
thala is the next super star, no one will defeat ajith
Anand Feb 2, 2013
Next Super Star Vijay
Ri8moorthy Feb 2, 2013
vijay is d nxt supr star
Ashok Feb 1, 2013
Thala is next super star. He is the king of Tamil cinema
Ghilli Dina Feb 1, 2013
only vijay can b the next super star
Siva Feb 1, 2013
Good Article. All facts. Definitely, Vijay is next to Rajni in terms of popularity and love people have on him. But, still Rajni is not replaceable. Vijay will be the top actor, undoubtedly though !!
Siva Feb 1, 2013
No one can replace our "Thalaivar" RAJINIKANTH. He is the one and only SUPERSTAR.
Manoj Feb 1, 2013
Only one can inherit his name is "RAJINIKANTH"
Karthik Feb 1, 2013
No one will inherit Rajnikanth's throne.
Sid Feb 1, 2013
Very good article, though disagree with certain things, especially like the last line None can replace Superstar Rajinikanth:-!He s the Star of Century..:)
Response to Sid:
Karthik O Positive Feb 4, 2013
Stars may come, Stars may go.. But the Superstar remains forever..
Although he releases one film in two years, The mass and craze which the people of Tamil Nadu, His fans have on him has never gone low, He is the only star on earth whose mass image keeps on increasing every year more than his age, It is Superstar Rajinikanth who is been invited by USA (Maryland Governor) as Special guest, It's Superstar's Enthiran which opened the world wide market for Tamil films,He has the power to change anything, Millions of strong youngsters are with him, But he never uses them for his own good, He asks his fans to look after their family first, When there are stars who do things for publicity in front of the camera, He is the only Star who lives a simple life despite his Superstardom, I strongly disagree with FORBES article of who will inherit Superstar's throne, Even in dream it will not happen.. Please come to Tamil Nadu and watch out the audio launch celebration of Kochadaiayaan, Rajini fans celebrate the audio launch itself as a big festival, Then think what will happen when the movie release.. THE MOST POWERFUL STAR WHO HAS THE MOST POWERFUL FANS...
Response to Karthik O Positive:
Sid Feb 4, 2013
I absolutely agree with u bro..:) Rajini is the star of century, once in a life time we see a star like Rajini sir!!! His reach is impeccable throughout the world. He s famous for his Style, Dialogue delivery, acting, mannerisms and above all his humility...no actor can have all these qualities he can be compared only to the criketing great Sachin Tendulkar!!! And remember guys he is 62yrs but this man at 62 creating a frenzy among crowds whenever his film releases or on his birthday where even younger actors can't do this! Rajini is irreplaceable!!
Response to Karthik O Positive:
Prabhu Feb 4, 2013
Yes, Fantastic explanation karthik. Superstar will remain superstar for ever. This forbes article is a junk. They do not really know the fan following of superstar.
Response to Karthik O Positive:
Sundaran Feb 8, 2013
NEXT SUPER STAR ILAYA THALAPATHY VIJAY..........NO ONE BEAT HIM.......BECAUSE HE HAS TALENT ON ACTION,COMEDY and DANCE SO COMPLETE PACKAGE WE CAN GET FROM HIM.......MASS AUDIENCE ALSO IN ALL OVER WORLD
Response to Karthik O Positive:
Deva May 16, 2014
Well said karthik, oru vaanam oru boomi oru suriyan oru chandiran oru superstar - Rajinikanth
Response to Deva:
Bharath M Jun 21, 2014
No one can think to replace his throne ever . it can't be replaced and compared. The present actors are imitating and following his mechanisms in movies. how he will be replaced by them. please don't compare him and his great success in the field with others who follow him. His working experience is their age. GURU is always GURU. He can't be raplaced by his followers (the present imitators). Don't think and don't talk about his age. Please think and follow his hardwork and dedication to his work in this age.
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