chapter  15
Politics Beyond Politics: Trans-Image Voting
Pages 68

Contrary to the popular belief that the Thamizhs are carried away by the screen image, the foregoing discussion points to the fact that, when it comes to exercising their franchise, they are ‘image discriminative’, that is, they are able to make a clear distinction between the screenconstructed popularity and the socio-political considerations pertaining to real politiking. The extraordinary political success of MGR lies precisely in his intuitive awareness of the fact that the people are imagediscriminative. It is only based on this profound insight that MGR with his political acumen built up his political empire — he creatively turned his fi lms into effective propaganda tools through tactexting, skilfully chiselled his action hero image, ingeniously devised the twin-centre dynamics, shrewdly appropriated the DMK, and ultimately emerged as the sole political centre of Thamizh Nadu.