Kamal Haasan's political plans enter crucial phase in February: What the road ahead is like

Sreedhar Pillai

Feb,03 2018 17:19:09 IST

The Chennai winter, when the weather is pleasant and the daytime temperature hovers between 23-27 degrees, is coming to an end. The spring season will start in a few days, and all eyes are on Kamal Haasan.

The actor-turned-politician has said he will announce his political party’s name on 21 February at Ramanathapuram and begin a state-wide tour on the same day. Kamal was born in Paramakudi, a small town in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu; hence he wants to start his political journey from his home town.

Kamal Haasan communicates with his fans and potential electorate through his Twitter handle and his weekly column in the popular Ananda Vikatan magazine. He has made clear that he will tour Tamil Nadu in phases, beginning the journey from Ramanathapuram and then moving on to the neighbouring districts of Madurai, Dindigul and Sivagangai.

Kamal Haasan will announce his political party's name on 21 February 2018. Image courtesy Facebook/@iKamalHaasan

Kamal Haasan will announce his political party's name on 21 February 2018. Image courtesy Facebook/@iKamalHaasan

Kamal Haasan has also stated that his political tour — called "Nalai Namadhe" (Tomorrow is ours) — will not hit out at other political parties; it will be different from others. Kamal said, “Our public meetings will be an interactive session. Those who want to ask questions should register in advance. I’m not interested in just slamming the opposition and making wild allegations. We should redeem the glory of public meetings".

“At the commencement of the journey, I intend to announce the name of my political party along with the guiding principles and ideology we intend to take up. I want to challenge the status quo and existing system that has been plaguing the politics of Tamil Nadu for some time now,” he added.

In his latest column in Ananda Vikatan, the actor stressed that he is not anti –Hindu. Kamal wrote: "I'm not an enemy of Hindus. I'm nobody's enemy. I see Islam and Christianity the same way. I've accepted Gandhi, Ambedkar and Periyar as my teachers. I respect them equally. I do not want to glorify or ridicule anything. Neither am I an atheist; I would say I’m a rationalist.”

When he started out in politics, Kamal made sensational remarks about “Hindu extremism” which did not go down well with a section of the electorate, who saw him as another politician who wants to appease the minorities. Now he says his daughter Shruti Haasan and his brother were devout Hindus, so how could he be anti –Hindu?

On Friday, 2 February 2018, Haasan left for the US where he has been invited by Harvard University to give a keynote address (the event is on 10 February). The actor had earlier spoken at Harvard, in 2016, about freedom of speech. This time the topic is his current favourite — Tamil Nadu! The actor will address several problems that currently plague the state at the annual Indian Conference of the prestigious university. A statement issued by Kamal read: “The topic at Harvard is Tamil Nadu. I chose to speak on it out of sheer necessity. Our state has sunk to the lowest depth. It is affecting my dignity as a man, even more as a Tamilian.”

As the D-day approaches for his final plunge into politics, a lot of hush-hush developments are taking place on the film front for Kamal Haasan. His Viswaroopam 2 is in the final stages of post-production, and the star is eyeing a summer 2018 release. However, financial troubles could prove to be an obstacle, as also a clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification.

Censor issues have become par for the course for Kamal's films, since he's so vociferously not on the same page as the ruling government in Tamil Nadu. And after Padmaavat, theatre owners and distributors are jittery about screening "controversial" films.

Meanwhile the sequel to one of Haasan’s most successful films, Indian 2, directed by Shankar is all set to start filming by May 2018. Shankar and his cameraman Ravi Varman have been touring Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, scouting locations for the shoot. The buzz is that Lyca Productions (the producers of 2.0) will be producing this film as well.

Now the big question is, why is Kamal doing a brand new film, after launching his political career?

A source close to actor says this film will possibly be Kamal's last, and spell out his ideology as well. The idea is that the film should release in April 2019, prior to the Lok Sabha and probably Tamil Nadu state elections. Indian 2 makes clear that Kamal Haasan has his eyes on the 2019 general elections.

Updated Date: Feb 03, 2018 17:19 PM