Kamal Haasan, in his column for Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan, wrote about the necessity to share the Tamil Dravidian identity with the rest of South India. “Some hate Dravidian ideology, others swear by it. I say, both can be criticised. Dravidam isn’t something that belongs just to Tamil Nadu, but belongs to the whole country. South India, especially, must unite under a Dravidian identity. It must be celebrated all over the South. That’s how we can be heard in Delhi,” he wrote.
“Chandrababu Naidu [CM of Andhra Pradhesh], Pinarayi Vijayan [CM of Kerala], Chandrasekhar Rao [CM of Telangana], Siddaramaiah [CM of Karnataka] are all Dravidians. Tamilians must not be possessive of their Dravidian identity, they must instead, happily share it with people of other languages. I’m not saying we must dilute our languages and cultures and become one; we must observe what Jawaharlal Nehru called ‘unity in diversity’. This is my opinion.”
Haasan began his column by explaining the ‘journey’ he’s about to undertake from February 21. “I consider my journey towards working for the society a duty, and not an opportunity. The first step towards this is to meet people. This is not to mobilise support or public opinion, nor is it to glamorise my party – it’s merely my learning. My kalvi,” he said.
Writing that he will start his journey from late President APJ Abdul Kalam’s house in Rameswaram, Kamal added, “You may ask what I’m going to do there; Kalam wanted to leave behind a good state, a flourishing Tamil Nadu, that’s my intention as well. I’m not here just to criticise. I’m here to get down and work.”
“I work for the people, that’s my identity,” he declared. “I have a part in the mistakes that people make, likewise, I want to have a share in their victories too. The thought that ‘this is my country and I need to protect it’ must not be mine alone. Here, the leader must not just show the way, he has to walk the path himself. Democracy is when you feel you are working towards progress as a whole country. I am going to meet those heroes who would help me.”
Kamal then wrote about the grievances that he’d heard regarding the ineffective use of taxpayers’ money from Tamil Nadu. “Maharashtra stands first in paying tax. Tamil Nadu comes second. There have been complaints that the tax collected from the state is used to develop the North.” Likening the situation to that of a ‘joint family’, the aspiring politician said: “A brother can provide for his unemployed siblings, but one mustn’t take the provider for granted. I suspect that the collected money isn’t being effectively put to use.”
The actor ended the column with: “Is this an attempt to grab the rule, some will ask. How can a single person do that? It’s the people’s government. Their rule. In order to do so, I would have to uplift them first, and remind them of the duties that lay ahead. This journey is my effort towards that. Let’s join hands, we’ll meet in the field.”