Superstar Rajinikanth is celebrating his 65th birthday today. To set the celebrations off, some star-studded wishes to mark the day poured in. None other than PM Narendra Modi tweeted, “Happy birthday @superstarrajini! Wishing you a long life filled with good health.” The actor’s 2.0 co-star Akshay Kumar also wished him on his special day, writing, “When you know you’re in the Presence of Greatness!! Happy Birthday Dearest @superstarrajini Sir, the Supreme Galaxy to our SuperStars.” He also shared a pic of the pair together. Virender Sehwag added, “Then, Now and Forever, one and only @superstarrajini , #HBDSuperstarRajinikanth. India’s most loved star, Thalaiva!”
Happy birthday @superstarrajini! Wishing you a long life filled with good health.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 12, 2016
Despite the fanfare surrounding birthday, Rajinikanth will not be having a birthday bash. He has asked fans to not celebrate it either in light of the recent death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. His publicist said in a tweet, “(Rajinikanth) requests his fans not to celebrate his birthday and avoid keeping banners and posters.”
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) December 12, 2016
Rajinikanth, who worked as a bus conductor with the Bangalore Transport Service before achieving stardom, has over 150 films to his name. Although he’s now one of the most beloved heroes of the south, he began his career playing the antagonist in several movies. According to the Indian Express, the actor is engaged in several philanthropic ventures but prefers to do them without receiving much publicity. For instance, he half portioned off half of his income solely for charitable purposes and at a time when there was considerable fear about donating eyes, the actor pledged to donate his own eyes and became the face of a campaign for corneal transplant.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 11, 2016
2 the coolest & greatest of em all. Wishing u health happiness & years of entertainment for us.Happy B’Day Thalaivaa pic.twitter.com/xLwRSBbuJe
To all my fans, well wishers, media & friends from the film fraternity…. many thanks for your warm wishes ????????
— Rajinikanth (@superstarrajini) December 12, 2016
His stardom can be seen not only by his legions of fans and popularity at the box office, but also due to his influence in other matter. For instance, in 1996, the actor gave a speech at a public function that reportedly became a powerful factor during Tamil Nadu’s elections that year. The last movie to hit the screen from Rajinikanth was Kabali. It was a massive success and earned almost Rs 700 crore worldwide and is likely to end up as the biggest movie of 2016 – Rs 215 crore within India, of which Rs 40 crore was from North India, and Rs 262 crore from abroad, for a total of Rs 677 crore.