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Kamalahaasan sets off on political path with visit to Kalam's house

Source: PTI
February 21, 2018 14:23 IST
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‘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,’ the actor said in a tweet after visiting House of Kalam in Rameswaram. 

Setting off on his political journey from a 'simple man's abode,' veteran film star Kamalahaasan on Wednesday paid a visit to the house of former President, the late APJ Abdul Kalam, in Rameswaram before he launches his party later in the day. 

Haasan visited House of Kalam in Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district and was received warmly by the ex-President's family members. 

 

However, the actor's visit could not go according to plans as the local administration denied him permission to visit the APJ Kalam school, where the former President studied, saying the event was political in nature. 

The actor-director said, "Greatness can come from simple beginnings," about his visit to Kalam's residence. 

"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," he said in a tweet. 

Haasan briefly interacted with Kalam's nonagenarian brother Mohammed Muthumeeran Lebbai Maraikkayar. Kalam's family presented a memento carrying an image of the former President to Haasan. 

Haasan had also planned to address the students of the Kalam school at 8 am. 

However, the Mandapam assistant elementary education officer denied permission on the ground that if politicians were allowed to talk to school children, it would create confusion among them, official sources said. 

Besides, the Hindu Munnani leaders objected to the proposed visit of the actor to the government school. 

Ramanathapuram dstrict Hindu Munnani secretary Ramamurhty had in a letter to the dstrict cllector urged him not to permit Haasan to visit the school. 

The actor, however, seemed unperturbed by the denial of permission to visit the school. 

Kamalahaasan said there was "no politics" involved in his visit to the late APJ Abdul Kalam's residence, or his proposed one to a school, which did not fructify as the administration denied him the permission, where the former President had studied. 

"Kalam is an important person for me... I was attracted by his patriotism and aspirations. There is no politics in the visit to his house," he told a press conference. 

Asked what difference he saw between his avatars as an actor and that as a politician, he said the former has a bit of "barter system" in it. 

"Cinema is a medium to connect with people and so is politics. But there is more responsibility as a politician. It was like barter system -- there (in cinema) -- their (people's) money for my talent. But there is no such thing here (in politics)," he said. 

On being hailed by his fans and supporters as 'Nammavar' (our man) ahead of his political plunge, Haasan said it amounts to people "owning me up as their man." 

Haasan had also starred in a film titled Nammavar

He said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke to him on Monday night and advised him to prepare a list of public welfare initiatives rather than spelling out policies. 

The veteran actor said he had lived in the hearts of fans but now wanted to live in people's homes in his new role. 

To a question on why he did not take part in Kalam's funeral, Haasan said it was because of his "faith". 

Later, interacting with members of the fishermen community, Haasan said he had learnt about their problems through media reports but wanted to hear it from themselves. 

"Henceforth, it will happen so," he said hinting at more such interactions. 

Previous governments made promises to fishermen but did not live up to them and "divert" the issue when confronted, he charged. 

The actor is all set to take a political plunge later in the day as he will announce his party's name and unveil its flag at a public meeting in Madurai. 

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal is also scheduled to attend the launch event. 

Before the launch, Haasan is scheduled to address public meetings at Manamadurai, Paramakudi and Ramanathapuram. 

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily has said that Kamalahaasan's party in Tamil Nadu does not have much political space to grow and sees its prospects on its own steam "very marginal". 

The former Union Minister, who had served as Congress in-charge of the southern state many years ago, said DMK and AIADMK are dominant regional political parties in the state, where superstar Rajinikanth has also announced plans to float his own outfit. 

"So, I don't think there will be much (political) space left for other regional parties, unless they align with these mainstream regional parties (DMK and AIADMK)," Moily told PTI. 

"I think the prospects for Kamalahaasan's party is very marginal. I don't think there is much space left by these two dominant regional forces". 

"Unless they (Kamalahaasan's party) have a regional agenda of their own which is better than DMK and AIADMK, what space they will occupy? He (Kamalahaasan) must have thought AIADMK will collapse, and he can occupy that space, I don't think that is happening," the former Karnataka chief minister said. 

Moily said the Congress will be "very strongly" with DMK in Tamil Nadu, adding his party would continue to strive to strengthen its base in the state, even while aligning with the DMK for the present. 

Photographs: Diamond Babu.

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