Minutes after his spokesperson and publicist, Suresh Chandra, posted the actor's statement, #AjithKumar, #ThalaAjith and #Thala went viral across social media .
and took his fans by surprise.
"This wasn't an overnight decision. He has been pondering over it for quite a few years now and decided that this would be the right time (Valimai promotions) to do it. In fact, a production company in 1992 insisted that he change his name from Ajith Kumar to some other name. However, he wasn't game for it and continued to use his original name," a source close to the actor told DT Next. The source also added that Ajith was not in favour of publishing houses and reputed websites calling him with the moniker 'Thala'. "He told his close circle during a conversation that he would love it if people address him as Ajith or Ajith Kumar or AK, which was given to him by his parents."
For over 20 years now, fans have been attached to the pseudo name since it was popularised in his film Dheena (2001), which was given to him by his co-actor in the movie, Thulukanam. While it is common for actors in the south to be addressed this way to create an identity for themselves, Ajith's decision is now leading by example.