Social media is abuzz with reports of superstar Rajinikanth floating a television channel nearly a year after he announced his decision to enter politics. Rajini Makkal Mandram, a forum which is backed by the superstar, has initiated the process of registering the trademarks for a TV channel.
The convener of the forum, VM Sudhakaran has requested registering of trademarks in the name of ‘Superstar TV’, ‘Rajini TV’ and ‘Thalaivar TV’, with all the references to the 68-year-old actor. However, The News Minute reports that the process of trademark registration has indeed been initiated, but they are not currently planning to launch a TV channel.
The report further says that they indeed had plans to launch a satellite channel, but for now the registry has been done just to stop people from misusing Thalaiva’s name. The move comes amidst reports that a YouTube channel attributed to the superstar was launched without his consent.
It’s not uncommon for political parties in India to have their own TV channels which act as a medium to reach out to their political supporters. The ruling AIADMK has recently launched ‘News J’ to effectively propagate its policies and programmes.
Jaya TV, managed by the kins of VK Sasikala, the close aid of the late chief minister J Jayalalitha, was originally a mouthpiece of the AIADMK. The channel now supports sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran, since his fallout with current Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami last year.
Sun TV Network, one of Tamil Nadu’s most prominent channel, is owned by Kalanithi Maran, the newphew of late DMK chief K Karunanidhi.
The DMK launched Kalaignar TV in 2007, after differences cropped up between Karunanidhi’s family and the Marans. And then, of course, there is Captain TV belonging to Tamil actor Vijaykanth.
In Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress, led by Jagmohan Reddy, owns Sakhsi TV; while in Telangana, TNews is considered to be the mouthpiece of the ruling TRS.
The Congress party runs JaiHind TV in Kerala, while the CPM runs Kairali TV in Kerala. In Punjab, the Badal family also runs G-Next Media which owns the PTC Group of channels — PTC News, PTC Punjabi, Chak De — besides PTC Motion Pictures, a film company.