Amid fanfare, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in attendance, actor Kamal Haasan on Wednesday launched his political party, christening it “Makkal Needhi Maiam,” and unfurled its flag that symbolises the strength of unity.
“I am not your leader, I am your tool… this gathering is full of leaders,” he said moments before announcing the party’s name that roughly translates to “Centre for People’s Justice.”
“This is a party made for you, for the people,” he said to thunderous applause.
The top actor told his supporters that they have a duty, reminding them that this was not a “one day event”
“This is going to become a way of life for us, let us remember that.”
He asked his followers to realise that they have a big responsibility and they had to be pioneers.
“I am not a leader to give advice. I am a worker to listen to your advice,” Haasan said.
Besides Kejriwal, senior Aam Aadmi Party leader Somnath Bharti, farmers’ leader P R Pandian were among those who were on the dais for the launch event.
The party flag was unveiled just before Haasan announced the name of his party with a brief pause heightening the dramatic effect as the huge crowd roared its approval.
The flag in white background has six hands joining together with shades of red over three hands and rest with white along with a star in between surrounded by a star like background in black.
Colours black and white has a political significance in Tamil Nadu which forms part of the flags of the two big parties of the state -- All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam -- and the shades are also seen as a pointer to the Dravidian ideology.
Citing a Tamil proverb of ‘Oru Soru,’ which means a small example of a whole lot, he said the launch was just the first step for ‘makkal atchi,’ (people’s rule).
Clad in a white shirt and a black trousers, a smiling Haasan arrived on the stage showing the thumbs up sign to his fans who had arrived in large numbers to announce the party name.
His supporters waved banners sporting popular catchwords from his movies like ‘Nammavarey,’ (Our man) and placards of ‘Nalai Namathey,’ (tommorow is ours) showing a smiling Haasan.
Kejriwal praises Haasan
In his address to the people, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the people of Tamil Nadu to vote for the new party of Kamal Haasan and throw out the allegedly “corrupt,” AIADMK and DMK.
“I can see the people of Tamil Nadu are ready to throw out DMK and AIADMK and bring Kamal Haasan to power,” he said.
In his brief address in English which was translated into Tamil, Kejriwal said, “If you want corruption vote for DMK and AIADMK and if you want schools, hospitals, water, and electricity vote for Kamal Haasan.”
He praised the actor as a real life hero who is honest, has a vision and for starting a new party as a political alternative.
Hitting out at the DMK and AIADMK, he alleged that they were corrupt parties.
“Now you can vote for a honest party for Kamal Haasan,” Kejriwal said.
He said people of Delhi started the trend of voting for honest political parties and the Aam Aadmi Party got 67 out of 70 seats.
Now, he said the people of Tamil Nadu have the chance of breaking the record and vote for Kamal Haasan.
Stating that it is a “honest government in Delhi,” he said everything was possible “if you have a honest government.”
“There is no dearth of money in government, there is only dearth of good intentions,” he added.
He claimed that Delhi was witnessing a “complete transformation, a kind of a revolution in government schools, in hospitals, water and electricity sectors and in every single sector.”