Chennai: Actor Kamal Haasan, who has announced his formal entry into politics, today said the term "Dravidian," must be expanded beyond Tamil Nadu to all southern states to get a better deal from the centre.
- Kamal Haasan says, "Dravidian is not related to Tamil Nadu alone"
- Actor in his column says, "we could speak in chorus with Delhi"
- Kamal Hasaan says he will tour Tamil Nadu from February 21
"Dravidian is not related to Tamil Nadu alone. If we celebrate Dravidian across South India this discrimination would end. We could speak in chorus with Delhi," he said. The mega star was attacking the centre over tax collections in his column in a popular magazine, Ananda Vikatan.
"I feel of late, sharing of taxes with states is not done well," he wrote, adding, "Tamil Nadu is the second largest tax contributor. It's fine to develop northern states with it. That's how even in families we help an unemployed sibling. But the gullible contributor should not be left to starve."
The unambiguous Dravidian appeal a day after he announced that he would launch a new political party on February 21, made clear that Kamal Haasan is eyeing the gap created by the death of charismatic AIADMK boss and chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
Her party continues to rule the state but is grappling with a serious leadership crisis, even losing her assembly seat to sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran last month.
While Dravidian pride and ideology are so very important for politics in Tamil Nadu, Kamal Haasan projects himself as a well-informed progressive leader making the Dravidian tag inclusive for the common good of all southern states, tacitly making other leaders championing Dravidian ideology loom regressive.
In today's column, Kamal Haasan said he will begin his political journey from the home of former President Abdul Kalam in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram on February 21. He will tour the state, he has said, calling it a "journey of discovery " to "understand people's needs and aspirations."
He said he had limited but inspiring interactions with President Kalam, who was India's President from 2002 and 2007 and died in July 2015. "Like Kalam, I too have a dream for a good Tamil Nadu. I'm moving towards that," the actor said, urging people to join him on his journey. "A single man can't capture power. It's the people's rule. Hence we should elevate people first."
Kamal Haasan's entry into politics coincides with that of Tamil Nadu's other mega star Rajinikanth. In his last column, Kamal Haasan had hinted that he would like to work with Rajinikanth, who too has said he will soon launch a political party which will contest all 234 assembly constituencies in the next state elections.
They shared stage at a film function in Chennai on Wednesday. "Only time will be able to tell that. Let us see in due course of time," said Rajinikanth when asked if the two mega stars would join hands. "Time is a good medicine for everything. I second it," Kamal Haasan said.