Makkal Needhi Maiam: Here’s What Kamal Hasan’s Party Name Means

The actor-turned-politician made the announcement to a packed audience at Madurai’s Ottakattai Grounds.

3 min read
Kamal Haasan addresses a crowd gathered to see him.

Makkal Needhi Maiam.

This is the name of Kamal Haasan’s newly launched political party. The actor-turned-politician made the announcement to a packed audience at Madurai’s Ottakattai Grounds.

“This is a party for you, for the people. I am your instrument, you are the leaders, this is a crowd full of leaders,” said Kamal, at the official launch of his party.

Kamal also unfurled his party flag – a white flag with six red and white arms holding each other with a star in the middle. The flag had both Dravidian colours – red and black.

Kamal, who has given himself the moniker ‘Nammavar’ after a 1995 movie, saluted the flag once it was hoisted.

Kamal delivering his speech.
Kamal delivering his speech.
(Photo Courtesy: TNM)

His party name loosely translates to 'Centre for People's Justice'. He was joined by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, AAP leader Somnath Bharti, and farmer's leader PR Pandian.

His day started early, and he first stopped at former President late APJ Abdul Kalam's residence.

Kamal started his day in Rameswaram, where he met former President Abdul Kalam's elder brother and other family members at the 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
Kamal Haasan

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.

Makkal Needhi Maiam party flag
Makkal Needhi Maiam party flag
(Photo Courtesy: TNM)

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.

Bharatiya Janata Party's Tamil Nadu unit leader Tamilisai Soundararajan told reporters that Kamal appeared to have "started a political party to compete against someone".

She said while anyone can float a political party, Tamil Nadu is not in a situation where only Kamal can save it.

On the other hand, Dalit party leader Thol Thirumavalavan told reporters that Kamal and Rajinikanth are agents of the BJP to affect DMK in Tamil Nadu.

Kamal arrived to a rousing welcome on the eve of the launch of his political party on Wednesday, even as DMK Working President MK Stalin appeared to take a dig at film personalities taking a plunge into politics, saying paper flowers which do not have fragrance will bloom during a season, but they will wither very soon.

“The party flag will be hoisted in the evening in Madurai and the idea behind the flag will be detailed,” Kamal told reporters on arrival in Madurai.

Earlier Tuesday, actor Seeman, who strongly opposes Rajinikanth on the basis of his non-Tamil origin, met Kamal at his home in Chennai.

He told reporters that Kamal had expressed a wish to meet him, but he felt that he should come to his residence because he was elder to him. Seeman also recalled that he also hailed from Ramanathapuram district.

Kamal called on DMK president M Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence to seek his blessings. Stalin was also present then.

(This piece was originally published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)

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