Kamal Haasan Takes the Political Plunge With ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’

Kamal Haasan launched his party, the ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’, on 21 February 2018

Updated
India
12 min read
The Tamil Nadu political landscape has a new entrant in veteran actor – Kamal Haasan. 
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Kamal Haasan's Political Entry

The Tamil Nadu political landscape has a new entrant in veteran actor – Kamal Haasan. After a prolonged period of speculation and wait, the actor has announced that his political party will see the light of day on 21 February.

The actor-turned-politician had 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 2017, 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.

3:33 PM, 20 Feb
KEY EVENT

Arvind Kejriwal to Attend Launch of Haasan's Political Party

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be attending actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s party launch in Madurai, sources confirmed. Kamal had reportedly called on Kejriwal in September last year, and the latter had urged him to join active politics.

“Kamal Haasan has a reputation of having integrity and courage. When the country is facing strong forces of corruption and communalism, all like-minded people should talk to each other and work in tandem. I was happy when I learnt that there are a large number of honest people in this country who feel strongly against communalism, but only a few people have the courage to stick their neck out. Kamal Haasan is a rare person like that,” Kejriwal had said at the time.

3:36 PM, 20 Feb
KEY EVENT

Kamal Haasan in Madurai to Overlook Party Preparations

Ahead of the launch of his new party, Kamal Haasan arrived in Madurai to a grand welcome from his fans and supporters on 20 February.

Haasan will begin his political journey from his birth place – Kamuthi in Ramanathapuram district. He will then hoist the party flag in Madurai.

“Tomorrow I will launch my political party. But first I will visit Rameshwaram in the morning. In the evening, I will unfurl the party flag and declare the ideas and ideology of my political journey,” Haasan told the media on 20 February.

3:39 PM, 20 Feb
KEY EVENT

Stalin Takes a Dig at Haasan

In a letter addressed to DMK party members, the party’s working president MK Stalin on 20 February took a jibe at actors-turned-politicians Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.

Attractive flowers bloom when there’s a change in the season and eventually they wither away. Similarly, in the Tamil political arena too, attractive paper flowers may bloom. Paper flowers are not fragrant, are they? But the DMK is like the 1,000-year crop. It is the Dravidian language pride... it is a food for the Tamil people’s rights.
Stalin in his letter

Stalin added, “I give the assurance that everything will be done for the success of the movement!”

His letter comes a day after Kamal Haasan met with both DMK chief Karunanidhi and Stalin at their residence.

2:19 AM, 21 Feb
KEY EVENT

Kamal's Big Day

Kamal Haasan was given a rousing welcome by his supporters when he arrived in Rameshwaram late on 20 February. Haasan is scheduled to set out on a yatra from this island and launch the political party in Madurai, about 170 km from Rameshwaram.

Spotted in Chennai. 
Spotted in Chennai. 
(Photo: Smitha TK /The Quint)

His supporters raised slogans "Hail Varungala Muthalvere"(future chief minister) Hail Kamal Haasan" as he arrived in his native Ramanathapuram district in southern Tamil Nadu.


Published: 20 Feb 2018, 09:02 PM IST
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