Tollywood's affinity to politics was covert till NTR broke ground

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Chennai, Aug 17 (UNI) Apart from the simultaneous versions of films, especially during the bygone days of studio system, spearheaded by Vijaya Vauhini, Gemini and AVM Productions and now P Vasu's Rajni starrer 'Kuselan' after so many decades, another factor common to the 'politicised' Tamil and Telugu film industry is clearly politics.

Only in the case of Telugu cinema, the affinity of stars, directors, writers and producers to politics in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh was covert, while in Tamil cinema it was very vocal as exemplified by such political personalities like Chief Minister M Karunanidhi (a writer), former chief minister M G Ramachandran (actor) and his protege J Jayalalithaa, now heading his party AIADMK in and out of power, along with the DMK.

The Telugu film industry's alliance with the politicians in that state, where the stars are really coming into their own politically, as exemplified by superstar Chiranjeevi, who announced his entry into politics in Hyderabad today, ended when in 1983 one of the legends of South Indian cinema N T Rama Rao jumped into the fray founding his Telugu Desam and reigned supreme till he was ''overthrown'' by his son-in-law and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

That, Mr Naidu's apparent ''bad moves'' had now created the space for Chiranjeevi to ''checkmate'' him, is another matter. Presently, in Tamil Nadu politics three other popular actors are hoping to turn out good performances as politicians- Vijaykanth, Sarat Kumar and Karthik.

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