Kamal begins political journey from Kalam's house

By NT Bureau Published on Feb 21, 2018 02:49 PM IST

Chennai: And the day finally arrived. Actor Kamal Haasan takes a new avatar as politician. The actor par excellence in Indian cinema kickstarted his political journey 'Naalai Namadhae' today.

His roadshow began from the house of former President A P J Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram and travelled through Ramanathapuram, his hometown (Paramakudi), before culminating in Madurai.

At his last destination, Kamal will announce the name of his political party, launch its flag as well as its guiding principles.

The First Day First Show of Kamal Haasan as politician has aroused curiosity not just among his fans but also in the political circles.

It was like an emotional pot-boiler so far with bouquets and brickbats being thrown at him. All eyes are now on the climax at Othakadai in Madurai where he would address a public meeting.

It's my pride

"My political journey gives me more pride," said the actor interacting with the media this morning in Rameswaram this morning.

Denying any politics behind his decision to begin his 'Naalai Namadhae' rally from Abdul Kalam's house, Kamal Haasan, said, "There is no politics in visiting Abdul Kalam. I was deeply moved by his life and teachings. His patriotism and humble beginnings drew me here."

Reacting to cirticism that he did not even attend the funeral of former President, he said, "I never attend any funeral and that's my belief."

'Greatness can come from simple beginnings. Actually, it will come only from simplicity. Glad to start my journey from a great man’s simple abode,' tweeted Kamal Haasan.

Sheik Dawood, Abdul Kalam's grandson said the actor talked to them about his wish to do 'development' politics.

Kamal was warmly received by the family members of the former President. The actor briefly interacted with Kalam's nonagenarian brother Mohammed Muthumeera Lebbai Maraikkayar while being flanked by other close relatives of Kalam.

'Can't stop me from learning'

Kamal Haasan’s plan to interact with students of the school, where Kalam studied, was cancelled this morning due to opposition from the government and certain Hindu groups.

He will, however, continue his tour, during which he is expected to address three public meetings before his Madurai rally.

Reacting to this, Kamal, said, "They can stop me from going to school but cannot stop me from learning from what Kalam practised and preached."

Call him 'Nammavar'

Posters calling Kamal Haasan as Nammavar adorned the walls of Madurai and Ramanathpuram ahead of his mega political rally today.

Remember it was the title of one of his earlier ventures. Interestingly fans hitherto were calling him Ulaganayagan.

The actor in a lighter vein, said, "If you see my films it’s not Ulaganayagan to Nammavar. It was Nammavar to Ulaganayagan. Today I am back as Nammavar. It means 'our man'."

'Provide what people want'

In his interaction with media, Kamal said, "I called on those whom I like the most before the rally. I even spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Chandrababu Naidu, whom I admire a lot. He let his work speak. I have a high regard for him. Though many were asking  me about my policies and principles, Chandrababu Naidu said to me not to worry about anything. He just adviced me to deliver what people need."

Kamal further said, "I too believe that 'isms' or various philosphies cannot work unless we give what people want."

For fishermen

After visiting Kalam's House, Kamal drove strauight to a marraige hall to meet and interact with fishermen from Rameswaram and discuss the issues faced by them.

Unfortunately the actor chose to address them for little over five minutes and left the venue in a hurry.

When this was brought to the notice of the actor, Kamal quickly corrected this by inviting them to air their grievances at the media event later.

Speaking on the occasion, Bose, a fishing leader said, "Centre doesn’t pay heed to their problems. Tamil fishermen are languishing in Lankan jails. They aren’t able to fish."

In his reply, Kamal, said, "I will be there, will support the community. There is a need to rediscuss international treaties. Your questions cannot be answered with violence. Different governments have made different promises and then when people ask why the promises were not met, they bring other problems in front of them."

'All are welcome'

To a query on politicians lashing out actors entering politics, Kamal Haasan said, "Anybody from any profession can venture to politics. In the past a plethora of advocates alone ventured to politics. From Bala Gangadhar to Nehru, to Gandhi and Ambedkar, everyone were lawyers. Anyone with a zeal to serve people are we;lcome to politics."

Why today?

Kamal said that he has ventured into politics today, which is Internatinoal Mother Language Day.