The actor-politician said in his Ananda Vikatan column that he has a long-standing invitation from the ex-President’s kin to visit them.

Kamal to begin political journey from Kalams house in Ramanathapuram on February 21
news Politics Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 12:33

Kamal Haasan announced in his weekly column in Ananda Vikatan that he will start his yatra from former President Abdul Kalam’s house in Ramanathapuram on February 21.

Saying that he has a long-standing invitation from former President Abdul Kalam’s family, he wrote, “I lost all the opportunities to visit then. But, this time, I think I will create my own opportunity and visit (them).”

The actor-turned-politician has become increasingly critical of the Tamil Nadu government following the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. In November last year, he had confirmed his political entry by announcing the launch of a whistleblower app.

In December, his contemporary Rajinikanth also announced his political entry with the formation of a yet-to-be-named party. Kamal had wished him well and said that he would be undertaking a journey to meet people in February.

On the Kalam connect, he further writes, “Kalam had many dreams. I am one among the people who has similar dreams. He dreamt of developing Tamil Nadu. My intention is also the same. I am moving towards that. It is not my full-time job to be critical (of the government). People’s development is my intention.”

North-south divide?

Addressing the growing criticism amidst the people that Tamil Nadu is getting a raw deal from the Centre, he writes, “Maharashtra ranks as number one in filing taxes and Tamil Nadu ranks at number two. Some people say that the tax is being collected from here (Tamil Nadu) and is being distributed for the development of the north. Isn’t that how it will be in a joint family? It is our custom that the elder brother’s salary is distributed among the unemployed younger brothers. But, just because the elder brother is giving money, you cannot brand him a fool and starve him. I feel that, of late, this distribution has not been properly done.”

Dravidianism

Calling Chandrababu Naidu, Pinarayi Vijayan, Chandrasekhar Rao and Siddaramaiah Dravidians, Kamal writes, “Some people talk as though the Dravidian front is a bad term. Some others say that we won’t talk about anything but that (Dravidianism). Both these warrant criticism. Dravidam has not just touched Tamil Nadu. It transcends borders. There is a vast history and anthropology to it. Archaeology has also been involved in this. I can show you someone in Bihar with the same complexion as you. It is being proven that the reason for that is Dravidianism. There is no need to destroy Dravidianism for that. There is also no need to celebrate it unnecessarily. It is our identity. If we celebrate it across south India, this inequality won’t exist.”

Emphasising that Tamilians alone are not Dravidians, he says “We can happily share this with those speaking different languages. It is my opinion. It is my desire that my opinion takes more roots. If we start thinking like this, we will gain more strength.”

Kamal, who is a well-known atheist, goes on to write, “There is no shame in being the Siva of the south. It just means we are everywhere. The same is the case with Dravidianism, like Siva. Ethnicity, dignity, self-respect and love of language has to remain the same.”

‘Journey of learning and discovery’

Calling Ramanathapuram a national example for ‘unity in diversity’, he wrote, “It is not enough for me alone to feel that this is my country and I need to save it. A leader should not be there just to lead, he should also follow. There should be organisational responsibility. There should be a feeling that we are pulling the chariot together. That is democracy. I am on my way to meet those heroes.”

Addressing questions on whether he aimed to be in the government, he asked, “Is it possible for one man to form a government? Whose regime? Whose government? A citizen’s government. For that, they should first be uplifted … They have a good heart. It is my opinion that it should not be changed. This is a journey towards that.”

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