Chennai: Shooting down the outsider tag, Rajinikanth, a man of Marathi roots and a native of Karnataka, proclaimed himself to be a true-blue Tamilian despite his origins from Karnataka. "Even though I am from Karnataka, still you have accepted me and you have made me into a Tamil. I am a pure Tamil now."
On the issue of many of his critics pointing out his 'non-Tamil' origin, Rajinikanth said his native place was a village in Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu.
"Naan pachai Tamizhan (I am a pure Tamil)....if you ask me to get out and throw me away, I will land only in the Himalayas (which he frequents) and not in any other state," he said.
Questions were often raised "if Rajinikanth is a Tamil," he added.
"I am 67 years old. For 23 years I was in Karnataka and 44 in Tamil Nadu. I grew up with you. I may have come here as a Kannadiga or Marathi from Karnataka but you gave me love, support, name, fame and prosperity and you have made me a Tamil," he said amidst loud cheers from his fans.
The actor's roots are often a focal point of discussion in various circles and they come to the fore when the Cauvery dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu peaks.
He praised Thol. Thirumavalavan for taking up the Dalit cause and also lauded Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman.
"They all are there.. but the system is affected, no?" he asked.
Noting that his statements and remarks created a 'controversy,' Rajinikanth said he had not expected his recent comments on politics to become such a hot topic of discussion.
Referring to the opposition to him from some quarters, especially in the social media, he said one cannot grow without opposition.
"Especially in politics, opposition is the investment. Some in social media, Twitter and Facebook criticize me. I don't feel bad about it. It is like fertilizer for a plant," he added.