Pune’s own Rajinikanth!News — By The Desk on December 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Pune Mirror: Rajinikanth aka Shivaji Gaikwad was a bus conductor before entering the world of movies. This and an uncanny physical resemblance binds Sanjay Naik to the South Indian superstar whom Naik worships only next to god. Now, like his idol, Pune’s own Rajinikanth is also being sought out by politicians to polish up their fortunes.
Naik (42) works in the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal (PMPML) as a conductor and has also acted in a Marathi movie, Chuk Hi Janmachi, which he was selected for on the basis of his resemblance to Rajinikanth. Whether he is walking on the road or on duty in a bus, people are taken aback by his looks and mannerisms which instantly bring to mind the on-screen persona of Rajinikanth.
This time however, Naik’s role is different. Local politicians are urging him to campaign in the the upcoming municipal elections. “I was approached by some corporators including MNS’ Vasant More and another aspirant Raju Naik. So far, I have resisted taking part in such programmes, but maybe I will participate this time,” Naik told Pune Mirror.
Incidentally, in a famous statement, Rajinikanth had, during the 1996 elections for the Tamil Nadu assembly, criticised then Jaylalitha government and said, “If she comes to power now, even god cannot save the state.” This statement and his pictures were exploited by the opposition Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam-Tamil Manila Congress who eventually came to power.
That is not all. In his last visit to Chennai where he goes often for a chance to meet his idol, Naik was spotted by Jayalalitha, who was campaigning for the assembly elections. “Since I know that Rajinikanth and Jayalalitha have their differences, I stood silent. However, she glanced at me, smiled and her car went ahead,” Naik said.
Naik met Rajinikanth during the shooting of Endhiran (Robot) in 2009. They had a brief talk then. When the superstar was ailing during April-May this year, Naik went to Chennai. The superstar’s fans then published a banner with Naik’s photo among praying fans.
Naik was also invited to a blood donation camp in Mumbai on the occasion of Rajinikanth’s birthday on December 12. However, the event was later cancelled.