Vijayakanth (born 25 August 1952 as Vijayaraj Prabhakar Alagarswami) is an Indian actor and politician. He is the founder of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and a Member of Legislative Assembly representing Rishivandiyam, Tamil Nadu, India.
Vijayakanth was born as Chandrasekar on 25 August 1952 in Tirumangalam, Madurai to K. N. Alagarswami and Andal in a Thottia Naicker(Balija Naidu) family. Alagarswami was Madurai’s Councillor for two terms. Vijayakanth married Premalatha on 31 January 1990 and has two sons, Vijay Prabhakar and Shanmuga Pandian. Upon entering the film industry to pursue an acting career, director Khaja (who directed his first film) changed his name to “Amritaraj” and then “Vijayakanth”, dropping the “raj” out of his name and suffixing “kanth”. He has also been nicknamed “Captain” and “Puratchi Kalaignar”. In the 2011 Tamilnadu elections, his party DMDK won 29 seats out of 41 contested seats and he became the leader of the opposition.
Inikum Ilamai was his first film, which was directed by M. A. Kaja. After this, he acted in Dhooraththu Idi Muzhakkam, Neerottam and Agal Vilakku. He is nicknamed ‘Captain’ after the 1991 movie Captain Prabhakaran which is his 100th film. Vijayakanth has starred in films including Vanathai Pola, Sethupathi IPS, Captain Prabhakaran, Pulan Visaaranai, Oomai Vizhigal, Senthurapoove, Ulavu Thurai, Periyanna, Vallarasu, Ramana, Neranja Manasu, and Sathriyan
This period was a part of Vijayakanth in Kollywood. Some of the Vijayakanth films in the eighties include Sattam Oru Iruttarai, Sattam Sirikkiradhu, Auto Raja, Naan Soottiya Malar, Saatchi, Nalla Naal, Veettukku Oru Kannagai, Nooravathu Naal, Vetri, Madras Vaathiyar, Madurai Sooran, Kudumbam, Naalai Unadhu Naal, Naaney Raja Naaney Mandhiri, Amman Koyil Kizhakkale, Annai En Dheivam, Manakanakku, Oru Iniya Udhayam, Vasantha Raagam, Poomazhai Pozhiyudhu, Sattam Oru Vilaiyaattu, Siraipparavai, Uzhavan Magan, Veera Pandiyan, Therkathi Kallan, Sendhoorappoovey, Meenatchi Thiruvilaiyadal, Ponmana Selvan, Paattukku Oru Thalaivan and En Purushanthaan Enakku Mattumthaan. These movies earned him great accolades. He was leading the charts alongside Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. His first Movie was Dhoorathu Idi Muzhakkam.
Vijayakanth acted in a good number of blockbuster films in the 1990s also. Some of them are Pudhu Paadagan, Pulanvisaranai (a blockbuster film directed by R.K. Selvamani), Sathriyan, En Aasai Machaan, Thayagam, Ezhai Jaathi, Karuppu Nila, Captain Prabhakaran (a blockbuster film directed by R.K. Selvamani and given 100th hit Film in Industry, all other actors 100th film flopped including Rajinikanth), Chinna Gounder, Sendhoorappandi, Enga Mudhalaali, Sedhupathi IPS, Thirumoorthi, Alexander, Dharma Chakkaram, Periya Maruthu, Thaai Mozhi (Guest Appearance, Sarath Kumar as a Hero), Thamizh Selvan directed by BharathiRaja, Honestraj, Veeram Vilanja Mannu, Ulavuthurai, Periyanna and Kallazhagar.
Vallarasu, Vaanathai Pola directed by Vikraman, Simhasanam, Vaanchinathan, Narasimma, Kannupada Poguthaiya, Thavasi, Devan, Thennavan, Rajjiyam, Engal Anna, Sokkathangam, Ramana (a blockbuster film directed by A. R. Murugadoss), Perarasu, Sudheshi, Arasangam (150th film directed by R.Madhesh), Sabari, Engal Aasan, Mariyathai, and Virudhagiri (Vijayakanth’s first directional venture).
He formed the center-left winged Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), a regional political party in Tamil Nadu. He formally announced the party’s formation on 14 September 2005 in Madurai. His party contested in all seats in 2006 assembly elections and won one seat contested by him. In 2011 election held on 13 April 2011 he formed an alliance with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and contested in 41 constituencies. His party saw phenomenal success by winning 29 of the 41 seats it had contested from. It is a significant day in the history of Tamil Nadu as DMDK has won more seats than the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and occupied the position of MLA for the second time. Vijayakanth emerged victorious from the Rishivandhiyam constituency in the 2011 state assembly elections. Cho Ramaswamy encouraged Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) to forge an alliance with AIADMK. DMDK launched a vigorous campaign to defeat DMK; It made a resolution to call all parties to come together to defeat the ruling DMK in a conference held in Salem on 8 January presided over by its leader Vijayakanth. S. Ramadoss, leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi expressed his dissatisfaction with people from film industry ruling Tamil Nadu since 1967. He also urged voters not to vote for Vijayakanth with long career as a Tamil actor.
The DMDK, led by Vijaykanth, proved to be an important player in the 2006 Tamil Nadu assembly election, garnering 10% of the voters and securing 10.1% in this Lok Sabha election. According to the study, it secured more votes than the winning margins of candidates in about 25 constituencies. In 2006, polling showed that DMDK was able to get more DMK votes than AIADMK votes, but in this election according to the table on the right, they were able to wrestle more Congress voters from 2004, than any another party. Contrary to the claim of many in the AIADMK camp blaming DMDK for the defeat, there is no evidence for this to be true.
Election Commission of India has sent notices, based on the complaint of the DMK to AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa and her ally DMDK leader actor Vijayakanth for their alleged personal attacks against chief minister M. Karunanidhi and his family during electioneering.
Dispute with Vadivelu
On 21 September 2008, Vadivelu’s residence in the Saligramam neighbourhood in Chennai was pelted with stones by a gang, leaving several windows and furniture smashed and damaged. The actor had taken refuge in a room in his home and was safe. Vadivelu is said to have suspected Vijayakanth because of a recent controversy that broke out between the two. Vadivelu had filed a case against Vijayakanth for assault and the final court hearing took place on 22 September 2008. The attack may have occurred to prevent Vadivelu from attending the hearing.
Vadivelu filed another case against Vijayakanth for attempted murder and investigations are taking place. Vadivelu has mentioned his keen interest in competing against Vijayakanth in the next assembly elections and “teaching him a lesson.” In response, actor Vijayakanth told a press meet on September 22 that Vadivelu’s allegations are based on hearsay.
During the legislative assembly elections that took place in Tamil Nadu during April 2011, Vadivelu vehemently campaigned for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its alliance. During his public speeches, he predominantly condemned politician and actor Vijayakanth, whose party, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), allied with the opposition party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), headed by J. Jayalalitha. His allegations of Vijayakanth included him being a “drunkard”. In a campaign speech in Tiruvarur, Vadivelu stated that “(his) only aim is to sweep out Vijayakanth’s whole team and to campaign vigorously for DMK’s victory”. Vadivelu was criticized as being biased, only supporting a DMK-led victory for personal gains and not once mentioning anything against the official opposition, the AIADMK, or its leader. In a turn of events, the election was eventually successful for the AIADMK alliance while Vijayakanth was victorious by a significant margin in his own constituency. Vadivelu has since disappeared from the public eye. It was a bad decision on his part.
During the election, he said to have attacked his party worker.
After the election, Jayalalitha and Vijayakanth fought and accused each other. Due to this reason, Vijayakanth got separated from ADMK.
Vijaykanth married Premalatha on 31st January 1990 and has two sons Vijayapandiyan and Shanmugapandiyan. Vijaykanth’s second son is going to debut in the movies.
Vijayakanth has launched a 24-hour Television Channel called “Captain TV” on April 14th, 2010