Actor Kamal Haasan on Wednesday formally launched his party and named it Makkal Needhi Maiam which roughly means People’s Justice Centre. Making his political beginning at the Othakadai ground in Madurai, Haasan said his party is ‘for the people’. “This party is for the people, We have a responsibility. This isn’t a one day show,” said a jubilant Haasan after unfurling his party flag.
The flag in white background has six hands joining together with shades of red over three hands and rest with white along with a star in between surrounded by a star like background in black. Colours black and white has a political significance in Tamil Nadu which forms part of the flags of the two big parties of the state– AIADMK and DMK–and the shades are also seen as a pointer to the Dravidian ideology.
Haasan cheered the large crowd gathered at the venue and told his supporters that he is not their leader but their tool. “I am not a leader who gives advice, but one who takes advice. I am your tool. Not your leader. This is a crowd that is filled with leaders,” said the actor-turned-politician.
Haasan was accompanied by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party colleague Somnath Bharti. Pointing that his objective is to fight corruption, Haasan said, “I have shown you a morsel of the government I can cook for people here. The people who have gathered here are people who have enraged by the corruption prevalent in the state.”
Citing a Tamil proverb of ‘Oru Soru,’ which means a small example of a whole lot, he said the launch was just the first step for ‘makkal atchi,’ (people’s rule). Clad in a white shirt and a black trousers, a smiling Haasan arrived on the stage showing the thumbs up sign to his fans who had arrived in large numbers to announce the party name.
Congratulating Haasan for his new innings, Kejriwal said, “It’s a matter of great honour and privilege for me to be present at the launch of this great political alternative started by Kamal Hassan.”
“I’ve been a great fan of Kamal as a film personality. But I stand here today because he is a real life hero. He is not only honest, but he also has a great vision. I admire his courage to speak up and fight against injustice and communal forces in the country,” added Kejriwal.
He also said that the people fo Tamil Nadu has now an alternative to DMK and AIADMK. “The people were stuck between two parties DMK and ADMK, both corrupt parties. But now I congratulate them as they have a honest alternative when they go to vote,” said the AAP convener.
Earlier in the day, Haasan began his political journey by first visiting former President late APJ Abdul Kalam’s residence. He met the former President’s elder brother and other family members at their residence. “Greatness can come from simple beginnings,” he said.
“Actually it will come only from simplicity. Glad to start my journey from a great man’s simple abode,” the actor added in a tweet.
However, his second halt at the government school in Mandapam where Kalam studied got cancelled as the district administration did not give permission. A leader of a Hindu outfit said they had opposed Kamal’s visit to the school as he was trying to gain political mileage and nothing more.
Later speaking to the fishing community in Rameswaram, Kamal said that it is one of the most important industries in Tamil Nadu. He would be back to listen to the suggestions made by the fisherfolks.
Several flags in white with Tamil Nadu map in black, sporting the tag line “Naalai Namadhe” meaning “Tomorrow is Ours” were seen flying in Rameswaram.
(With agencies input)
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