Amid fanfare, actor Kamal Haasan today launched his political party, naming it “Makkal Needhi Maiam,” and unveiled its flag that symbolises the strength of unity. “I am not your leader, I am your tool.. this gathering is full of leaders,” he said moments before announcing the party’s name that roughly translates to “Centre for People’s Justice.” The party flag was unveiled just before Haasan announced the name of his party with a brief pause heightening the dramatic effect as the huge crowd roared its approval. The flag in white background has six hands joining together with shades of red over three hands and rest with white along with a star in between surrounded by a star like background in black. The actor has earlier announced his intentions to start his own party, in a political vacuum created by the absence of two top leaders – the late J Jayalalithaa and M Karunanidhi, who suffers various ailments – in the state politics for more than one year now. He used Madurai in southern Tamil Nadu as the launchpad for his political journey, keeping in with a long tradition of actors/film personalities in the state moving over from the celluloid world to politics. ALSO READ: Kamal Haasan begins political journey with a visit to Kalam’s residence On Tuesday, he commenced his formal political journey visiting the house of former President of India, late A P J Abdul Kalam’s, in Rameswaram, a southern district in Tamil Nadu. Kamal Haasan’s party symbol Rameswaram and Madurai saw several white flags with a map of Tamil Nadu in black along with a tagline “Naalai Namadhe” (Tomorrow is ours) However, the fellow political parties in the State did not welcome the new entrant well. A day before the launch, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M K Stalin said, “Glamorous, odourless paper flowers bloom and wither fast.” Tamilisai Soundararajan, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, remarked that Haasan has started the party as a competition and people who jump suddenly into politics cannot be a leader.
Haasan has been known for his acquaintance with the left parties and Dravidian ideology. Haasan’s announcement comes at a time when Rajinikanth has also announced his plans to enter politics, which he calls as “spiritual politics”. He said his party would contest in the coming legislative Assembly elections, and take a call on whether to participate in the Lok Sabha elections at the right time. His political machinery had started its operations by forming regional party wings under his fans’ association Rajini Makkal Mandram.