Rajinikanth, who has towered over southern films like a colossus for four decades and enjoys almost demigod status among his legion of followers.

The suspense and anticipation could well rival that for one of his blockbusters as superstar Rajinikanth prepares for a political announcement on the last day of 2017 in Chennai. Addressing fans in the Tamil Nadu capital earlier this week at the beginning of a six-day outreach, the 67-year-old gave the strongest indication yet of his plans. “I am not new to politics. I’m there since 1996. I don’t say I am entering politics. I will announce my stand on politics on December 31,” he had said. Over the week, he said, he planned to meet some 1,000 fans daily across 18 districts.