Kamal Haasan has finally taken the plunge into politics. His politics, to begin with will be confined to Tamil Nadu. Acting in films is one thing, while performing in the field of politics is quite another. From outside, many think and even believe that acting is an easy job. Anyone can become an actor even he or she may not know the art of acting. This is true to a great extent. But this also is a fact that acting is not everybody’s cup of tea like politics. Acting is an art and few have mastered the art of acting before camera or on the stage of theatre.
Unlike, acting in films, politics is the art of the possible. Here a politician has to perform and work hard to carve out a place for himself in public life. I, as a politician know it better how tough it is to be in public life. My experience of being in politics will have a long and winding story. But here let us discuss the impact of Kamal Haasan in politics.
From his statements and utterances made over past few months, it is clear that Kamal Haasan’s politics will be “Left of the Centre”, certainly not the right of the Centre. He has already declared that “Saffron is not my colour”. How could it be? He has heaped praise on the Left Front Government in Kerala which is responsible for encouraging political murder of the BJP and RSS workers in the state. In Tamil Nadu, the presence of the Communist Parties is confined to certain pockets. But the DMK follows a policy which is also “Left of the Centre”.
Two things in Tamil Nadu politics are worth watching. First, the DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi is out of active politics due to his failing health and old age. His son and the heir of the DMK M K Stalin will lead his Party to the polls both in the General Elections to Lok Sabha due next year and in the State Assembly elections three year later in 2021. In both the elections, J Jayalalithaa will not be on the scene. Her Party, the AIADMK is a faction ridden Party now. There is a political space in Tamil Politics that is up for grab.
Kamal Haasan has shown some degree of maturity by making courtesy calls on the DMK stalwart M Karnuanidhi and Rajinikanth, who is any day a bigger star than Kamal Haasan. He met Rajinikanth at the latter’s Poes Garden residence the other day seeking “cooperation and blessings” There is speculation about the two actors joining hands and coming under one political umbrella.
“Only time will tell on both of us joining hands… I came to inform Rajini about my political tour… Rajini wished me good luck,” Kamal Haasan told reporters outside the superstar’s residence in Chennai. Rajini commented that he and Kamal Haasan are actors but their style in films is different. Rajinikanth’s statement leaves a note of caution and indicates about a situation where the two actors may not be in one political party.
A political party requires not only fan following but also committed party workers or cadre to play an effective role in elections. Kamal Haasan has large fan following but it does not necessary will translate into political cadre.
When M G Ramachandran parted ways with Karunanidhi, he had long standing in Tamil Nadu politics as a leader of the DMK. MGR and Karunanidhi had serious differences within the Party. Karunanidhi expelled MGR from the Party. The Actor turned politician then formed his own Party Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam in 1972 which later became All India ADMK. He had vast experience in politics when he floated his own party and became chief minister of the state.
Unlike MGR, Kamal Haasan has no political experience. But this does mean any demerit or disqualification for becoming a politician. He may have to work hard his way to make his presence felt in the state politics.
Kamal Haasan is trying to rope in Rajinikanth, so that his Party will have reinforced strength to take on the ruling AIADMK and the main Opposition the DMK waiting to enter the seat of power at Fort St George in Chennai. But it is unlikely, so it appears as of now that Rajinikanth will join Kamal Haasan’s political outfit.
Kamal Haasan has betrayed his extremism by saying that “Hindu Terror is a threat to the country”. Is there anything like Hindu Terrorism? Only Congress and its leaders see it in air. If not Rajinikanth, Rahul Gandhi may be your ally Mr Haasan. Your colour is not saffron that you say but your colour is red. I support our senior BJP leader from Tamil Nadu and the party’s Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh, L Ganesan who has said “Kamal Haasan’s colour is red. He is sailing with the communists”.
R K Sinha
(The writer is a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha)