Erode: Seeking to avoid the pitfalls of political pigeonholing in Tamil Nadu’s political landscape, the film star-turned-political neta and leader of the Makkal Neethi Maiyam (MNM), Kamal Haasan wishes to anchor his centrist politics in the pivotal Gandhian notion of rural rejuvenation. He has also made it clear that should his celluloid rival Rajinikanth float a political party, MNM will only criticise those policies which need a critical scrutiny in public welfare.
“I will not take on Rajinikanth as a person, far from it; there are several parties here that personalise their attacks on him. But after Rajinikanth formed a political party and makes known its policies and programmes, if we have any differences on those issues, then our criticism too will be unsparing on issues; our appreciation too would be issue-based and open-hearted,” Kamal Haasan said in a television interview.
In an interaction with the TV channel News 18 Tamil Nadu after giving away the ‘Uzhavan Virudhugal’ to recognise farmers achievements under different categories in Erode on Sunday evening, Kamal, taking a wide range of questions, said in a word MNM’s core socio-political objective is “ensuring people’s welfare.”
Kamal saw the MNM’s goal of maximising people’s welfare happily rubbing it off with the political perspective of ‘centrism’, a philosophy gaining ground the world over. “Centrism in politics is on the ascendant at a global level and I am only reflecting that trend, I am its ardent student.” When asked that while his ‘centrism’ approach might help to understand issues in a better perspective without the ideological baggage of the Left or right but whether the MNM’s action plan will be right’ or left oriented in the field, Kamal Haasan said, “one should be like the pendulum of a balance.” “If in a certain situation, the balance of convenience tilts towards a side in the interests of fairness and people’s welfare, one must go with that; such a course of action cannot be branded as pro-right or pro-left; this is the hallmark of centrism.”
Kamal said Mahatma Gandhi since the 1930s had been saying, “Villages are the backbone of India and nothing better can explain my credo of ‘Graamiyame Desiyam’. I did not come to Gandhi through his adulators, but it was through his detractors and critics that I came to Gandhi and today I take pride in saying I am a student of Mahatma Gandhi.”
Stating that those “keen on doing good to the people” Kamal said the MNM was not averse to taking the “best” from the other political parties while eschewing dead wood.