Fan Clubs ijn South India and Elections

On January 24, 2018 By newswala Topic: Films, Electionsindia2009, Tamil politics, Fan clubs

These are excerpts from an older blog post written by Gopala Ravindran, but worth reading if you are interested to know what is it about the numerous fan clubs and exotic sycophancy in South India:

Fan clubs in Tamil Nadu are the typical microcosms of the social divisions and tensions of the Tamil society. They are as riddled by the factors of caste, religion and gender bias as any other institution. Despite their seemingly mainstreaming function, I think, these factors are at work in the formation and sustenance of fan clubs. What is striking is the unidimensional character of all fan clubs as public sites where males articulate their social and political affiliations in the guise of film fans. Females, barring those belonging to the lower rungs of the society, rarely seek to express themselves outside their private spheres of families, neighbourhood friends etc.,

...In my opinion, the culture of adulation predates the culture of fan clubs by several centuries in Tamil Nadu. The culture of adulation has historically derived sustenance from the site of personality cult-oriented public discourses. There are strong epigraphical and literary evidences attesting to the same beginning with the rise of Chola dynasty under Raja Raja Chola. 
Begining with the rise of the super stardom in 1940s (first with MKT Bhagavathar,later MGR and now Rajini), the culture of adulation and personality cult driven public discourses have found an invaluable site of sustenance in the film fan clubs. They are, in the language of Deleuze & Guattari, truly rhizomatic.


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