Kamal Haasan launched new political party "Makkal Needhi Maiam" today.
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan
undertook a 170-km political tour from Rameswaram to Madurai today, holding public meetings at Ramanathapuram, Paramakudi and Manamadurai before announcing the name of his party - Makkal Needhi Maiam
- which means "People's Justice Centre" and hoisting the party flag. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP lawmaker Somnath Bharti also joined him on stage at Madurai during the launch. The 63-year-old actor took his entry into politics rather slow. He had waited for months after announcing his political ambition and held many consultations before the launch.
A look at Kamal Haasan's journey from actor to politician:
- Kamal Haasan was born on November 7, 1954 in Tamil Nadu's Paramakudi town. He was inclined towards films and fine arts from an early age.
- After working as a dance assistant and then some supporting roles in films, he got his first big break in the film Kanyakumari that got him his first Filmfare award. There was no looking back for him after that. The Tamil superstar has bagged three national film awards and 19 Filmfare awards so far.
- In a career spanning 40 years, the superstar has made more than 200 films. Some of his most memorable roles have been in films Moondram Pirai, whose Hindi version Sadma became a massive hit, Chachi 420, Vishwaroopam, Anbe Sivam, Indian, Hey Ram, Dasavathaaram, to name a few.
- Apart from acting, Mr Haasan ventured into film making, playback singing, writing and also trained himself as a make-up artist.
- Mr Haasan is the first Tamil actor to have converted his fan clubs into "welfare clubs" which organise regular blood donation, eye donation drives and other public service activities. He has been associated with various philanthropic activities and has also pledged his product-endorsement income towards social causes. He was nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Swachh Bharat campaign. He chose to clean the Madambakkam lake in Chennai in 2014.
- The 63-year-old has been a vocal critic of the ruling AIADMK government and had conceded that he was tired of complaining about governmental inaction and wanted to re-craft the polity in Tamil Nadu.
- There had been a long-standing void in the Tamil Nadu politics after the death of actor-turned-politician J Jayalalithaa, who was former chief minister and AIADMK chief. After great anticipation and people's push, two famous superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan stepped into this political void. Mr Haasan has said he isn't hungry for power but will seize the opportunity to deliver to the people and rid the state of corruption.
- Mr Haasan has time and again expressed his appreciation of the Dravidian ideology. Dravidian is our identity and when the Dravidian identity is "celebrated" across South India, it would lead to a united "chorus" that would reach New Delhi, the actor had said.
- Ahead of his party launch, Kamal Haasan met actor-politician Rajinikanth and DMK chief Karunanidhi and DMDK chief Vijayakanth. The actor, who has repeatedly distanced himself from "saffron", has not met any leaders of the BJP.
- Mr Haasan had also launched a mobile app in November last year to help him crowd-source funds as the first step in his political journey. The pattern for his newly-launched party- Makkal Needhi Maiam - is inspired by a model perfected by Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi: each rupee that pours into its coffers is also a promise of continuing support and the total, a barometer of its popularity.
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