A seasoned actor puts on an act

Birthday boy Kamal Haasan’s political party may still be some distance away, but the actor is already behaving like a seasoned politician, shifting positions to wriggle out of tight situations.

Published: 08th November 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2017 02:25 AM   |  A+A-

Birthday boy Kamal Haasan’s political party may still be some distance away, but the actor is already behaving like a seasoned politician, shifting positions to wriggle out of tight situations. It was he who committed himself to a year-end deadline in media interviews three months ago over the launch of a political party. Yet, last week, the actor turned around and said he would not announce the launch date under media pressure.

Last week Kamal also wrote a signed piece in a Tamil magazine saying right-wingers cannot deny the phenomenon of Hindu terror. But after the BJP launched a broadside and a couple of court cases were filed against him, he took refuge in semantics, saying he was misinterpreted. “I used the word theeviram, like how you would describe a fan. It means extreme. But it was interpreted as terror.” That was a lame excuse, since anyone who knows Tamil would vouch for the fact that the context in which the word was used could only mean terror.

Just a few days ago, media reports had suggested he had asked his followers to raise `30 crore for the party’s launch. He has now said the funds were meant for the poor. After doing Twitter politics for months, he stepped out into the real world for the first time a couple of weeks ago when he visited Ennore Creek to understand the problems of flooding and encroachment. He has since roped in activists from outfits like the Arappor Iyakkam to train his followers on the use of tools like the RTI to ferret out information.

Kamal has now launched a digital vehicle called Maiyam Whistle (Tamil for Central Whistle) The app, which is in the beta stage, is expected to serve as a whistleblower platform on all public issues. It will also keep the actor posted on the activity levels of his followers. While it may be a whistle podu moment for his fans, would his fundraising methods be transparent? Would the actor walk the clean politics talk?

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