Sunday 16 May 2021


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

16 May 2021



[Srinivasan Kamal Haasan known popularly as Kamal Haasan and Kamal is arguably the finest actor in Tamil cinema today. He is also acknowledged as being one of India’s foremost thespians. The multi-faceted artiste is a film director, producer, screenwriter, film lyricist, poet, dancer, choreographer and playback singer. The 66 year old actor whose screen debut was in 1960 as a child artiste has acted in about 230 films and won many awards and laurels. His adulatory fans hail their idol as “Ulaga Naayagan” or global hero.  The recently concluded elections to the Southern state of Tamil Nadu in India has dented the larger than life image of Kamal Haasan. The Political party launched by Kamal in 2018 - “Makkal Needhi Maiam” (Centre for Justice) – together with a few smaller parties contested all 234 seats in the Legislative Assembly at the 2021 polls in Tamil Nadu. The Kamal Haasan led alliance failed to win a single seat. The party leader Kamal lost by a narrow margin in the Coimbatore South constituency.  ] DBS Jeyaraj in Daily Mirror article ‘Tamil Film Hero Kamal Haasan Turning Into a Political Zero

As per my assessment Actors and Politicians are heroes to the extent the lead us to have shared experiences. To the extent they pretend – they are zeros. As per my assessment Seeman who made himself a hero by promoting LTTE leader Velupillai Prabaharan who has been politically elevated by Tamil Diaspora politicians won but Kamal lost. Explained as follows by DBS:

[Kamal’s flagship the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) was expected to poll around 10% of the total vote and become the “third force” in the state next to the two Dravidian parties the DMK (Dravidian Munnetra Kazhagam) and AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam). However even that “honour” went to the “Naam Thamizhar Katchi”(We Tamils Party)led by film director - actor Seeman. While Kamal’s MNM got only 10,58,084 (2.45%)votes , Seeman’s NTK gained 30,67,458 (6.89%) votes.]

Politics is about Sovereignty of Belief. When pooled together, belief through Politics and belief through Cinema – Kamal is undoubtedly the winner.

MG Ramachanran was the leader who switched from Cinema to Politics. As per Wikipedia:

[Ramachandran became a member of the C. N. Annadurai-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK party) and rapidly rose through its ranks, using his enormous popularity as a film star to build a large political base. In 1972, three years after Annadurai's death, he left the DMK, then led by M.Karunanidhi, Ramachandran's erstwhile friend and now rival, to form his own party—the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). Five years later, Ramachandran steered an AIADMK-led alliance to victory in the 1977 election, routing the DMK in the process. He became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the first film actor to become a chief minister in India. ]

To the extent MGR showed respect for the Hon C. N. Annadurai who was a very wise and educated  leader who contributed intellectually to the Tamil Community, MGR also would have been identified with those qualities in politics. In contrast Kamal became the top leader without a guru in politics. The commonness between MGR and Sri Lankan Tamil politicians was confirmed when they both won first place in 1977 elections. This year the commonness was confirmed by Seeman in India and Sivagnanam Shritharan in Northern Sri Lanka.  The redistribution happened due to internal separations that happened due to incurable discrimination problems not cured in reality.

Through my experience in Vaddukoddai, I am conscious of the senior castes going back to business as usual and junior castes practicing the caste based hierarchy internally within their separated community. The latter is the partner of Seeman’s group.

Kamal Hassan has gone back to be active in Cinema. His contribution to Politics was to strengthen the minds of intellectuals and this has been witnessed through Stalin’s choice of intellectuals in leadership and also his orders to remove portraits of his father and himself from the common office, saying it was not party office. Whoever participates through belief naturally contributes to strengthen the minds of fellow believers. At governance level this is exponential – even if the person got only her/his vote. The political platform facilities others to share their belief. In that regard Seeman’s vote based on Sri Lankan Tamils dilutes the sovereignty of Tamil Nadu.

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