BOSTON–Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan says he is tired of complaining about governmental inaction, and wants to recraft the polity.
“On February 21, 2018, as I embark on my political journey, I am announcing a plan to adopt one village in every district of Tamil Nadu with the vision and aspiration for them to be ‘the best villages ever in India and later why not in the world’,” Haasan said in his key note address at the annual Indian conference of Harvard University on Sunday.
“An exemplar of sorts for my state and country. These villages will be planned with an intention to be holistically sustainable, economically, ecologically, sociologically, technologically, and high on education, skills and health. All key faculties for a healthy society… I truly believe that a strong Tamil Nadu augurs well for a strong India.”
The actor also said that he is practical and wants to start his journey by taking a “single step”.
“Therefore, as a first measure we will take one village and re-imagine it for excellence. Later, we will scale it across the state. Let’s re-imagine our villages, let’s re-imagine society and let’s leave a lasting impact on Tamil Nadu and India for posterity.”
The father of two invited “all Indians and even global citizens” to contribute to this idea.
“Being a Tamilian is not a prerequisite or a condition, but as I have often said is merely a postal code.”
With his political move, he is seeking “something more valuable than money”.
“Your ideas, imagination and intellect to re-imagine our villages, your time and participation in pursuit of excellence. My political campaign begins here with the aspiration of forming a brain trust with my Tamil women and men here at Harvard.”
Reflecting on his political aspirations, the “Vishwaroopam” star said: “I have embarked on a journey towards electoral politics. I used to mimic the wary intelligentsia that looked down with disdain at electoral politics and later through learning and kind tutoring understood that politics need not be something below us.
“On the contrary it can and should be a civic duty. A duty that we have neglected and hence, are suffering its atrophying consequences. I am fed up of complaining about governmental inaction. Demanding good governance is my right and no government need take umbrage.
“This address is only a preamble, a primer for that dialogue that I want to have with my people. I am actually rehearsing it with vibrant minds, hopefully kind critics and partners in attendance here. Help me help Tamil Nadu.”
He called himself a medium — “a tool offered for your use, sharpen me, shape me to sculpt our little village”.
“The time for lamenting is over. Everyone is in agreement that Tamil Nadu has touched its nadir. It is time to recraft the polity.”