Remembering Vijaykanth: Tribute to the Iconic Actor-Politician on His Passing


Vijaykanth, the actor-politician and creator of DMDK, fell dead in a private hospital in Chennai on December 28. When his condition worsened, he was sent to Chennai’s MIOT Hospital. Vijayakanth had pneumonia and was on ventilator support, according to the hospital.

Vijaykanth Political Career:

Known for his on-screen military roles, Vijayakanth (also known as “Captain”) entered politics in 2005 and established his own political party, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK). In the 2006 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections, the party received 10% of the vote, marking its electoral debut. After joining Jayalalithaa’s coalition and winning the 2011 elections, Vijayakanth sided with the AIADMK to lead the DMDK opposition. His vocal spats with Jayalalithaa in the assembly upended the Dravidian parties’ fifty-plus-year-old supremacy and sent shockwaves through the state’s political landscape.

From 2011 to 2016, Vijayakanth led the opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. Later, his party broke up its links with the AIADMK over differences, which led to the departure of a large number of DMDK lawmakers. Representing the constituencies of Virudhachalam and Rishivandiyam, he served as a member of the legislative assembly twice.

Acting Career:

The majority of Vijayakanth’s acting roles were dubbed into Telugu and Hindi. Vijayakanth is one of the few Tamil actors who has only ever appeared in Tamil films over the course of their careers. In the cinema industry, he was dubbed “Puratchi Kalaignar” (Revolutionary Artist). He was turned down by big-name directors despite his reputation for playing patriotic, pro-rural parts. Instead, he concentrated on playing lone police officers in over 20 films.

His films frequently dealt with themes like integrity, honesty, and keeping their word. His three shifts a day of nonstop labour demonstrated his commitment to the trade. Notably, he frequently withheld payments from struggling producers and occasionally waived costs entirely. Crucially, he refrained from advertising actions, so audiences might see and be inspired by his work. He adopted the name “Vijayakanth” instead of “Raj” when he entered the cinema business, matching it with M.A. Kaja’s “Kanth,” his debut picture. “Sattam Oru Iruttarai” (1981) by S.A. ​

He rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s as an action hero who consistently scored big box office smashes. Following “Captain Prabhakaran,” his 100th movie, he was given the title “Captain.”

Vijaykanth, with his multifaceted career in both Cinema & Politics, Leaves behind legacy and impacted Tamil Nadu’s cultural and political landscape.


In the 2011 Legislative Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Vadivelu actively promoted the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its electoral alliance. His main target in public remarks was Vijayakanth, whose party Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) had forged an alliance with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the opposition party. During a campaign address in Tiruvarur, Vadivelu claimed that his only goals were to destroy Vijayakanth’s team and heavily publicise DMDK’s win. Notably, he made no mention of J. Jayalalithaa, the head of the AIADMK, the opposition party at the time. In the end, the AIADMK alliance emerged victorious in the polls, with Vijayakanth securing a substantial lead in his constituency.

When Vadivelu attacked Rajinikanth in 2016 at a speech at an election campaign gathering, Rajinikanth’s fans reacted angrily. It was well known that he frequently made obscene gestures towards journalists in his criticism.

The ongoing dispute between comedian Vadivelu, who co-starred in several important films with Vijayakanth, and actor Vijayakanth was widely reported by the media. A group of people flung stones at Vadivelu’s Saligramam, Chennai, home on September 21, 2008, breaking multiple windows and destroying furniture. Since Vadivelu had filed a lawsuit against Vijayakanth for assault, the final court hearing of which was set for the next day, Vadivelu suspected Vijayakanth’s colleagues were responsible for the incident. In an attempt to “teach him a lesson,” Vadivelu declared that he will run against Vijayakanth in the next assembly elections, along with filing another case attempting murder.

At a news conference, Vijayakanth responded by saying that Vadivelu’s accusations were baseless and based on hearsay.

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