CHENNAI: On his birthday on Tuesday, actor Kamal Haasan unveiled a whistle-blowing app — Maiam Whistle — which will enable the public to expose wrongdoing and corruption in the State. The app, which he claims is in the “beta testing stage,” is expected to be available for download in January. The actor also announced a tour of Tamil Nadu to understand ground realities before streamlining the agenda of his party. However, dates of the tour are yet to be announced.
Responding to ‘whispers’ about an official launch of his party on his birthday, he said he wouldn’t have called for a press meet if he had not been serious enough about actively entering politics and flouting a party. “You shouldn’t ask the name of the baby when the mother is pregnant,” he said while addressing the press here.
Kamal also responded to allegations of his ‘anti-Hindutva’ attitude and ‘Hindu terror’ remarks. “There is a difference between extremism and terrorism,” he said and stated he would not tolerate violence in any form regardless of the religion of the perpetrators.
Speaking about his app, Kamal said it would help him connect with his supporters while at the same time address problems brought forward on the digital medium. “From blowing whistles in theatres, people from my Narpani Mandram have forged identities as social workers,” he had said earlier at a press conference, hinting that he plans to solidify a like-minded support base through digital medium as well.
Kamal had refused to celebrate his birthday this year due to floods in various parts of Chennai after the first spell of rain.
Kamal visited a medical camp organised by his Narpani Iyakkam at Avadi in the morning before addressing the press.
Activists welcome app
Though it isn’t clear as to how Maiam Whistle will function, activists from the city welcomed the app. “The idea to bring people together to fight wrongdoing across the State is always welcome,” said Nityanand Jayaraman, a city-based environmental activist.
Arun Krishnamurthy, founder of Environmentalist Foundation of India, also welcomed the move. “The future is undeniably in the digital sphere,” he said citing the inroads the mobile internet price drops have made in the Indian market.
Jayaram Venkatesan from Arrapor Iyakkam, a civic activist, said: “Activists in villages are often shut up at the panchayat level itself. Their issues can certainly come to the fore if this app catches on.”