Chappani was the name of the character played by Kamal Haasan in the 1977 movie Pathinaaru Vayathinile (English translation: At the age of 16), written and directed by Bharati Raja. This was the breakout movie that launched Sridevi, Kamal, and Rajnikanth into stardom. One was reminded about Chappani watching the live proceedings of the press meet addressed by the aging superstar Kamala Haasan on his 63rd birthday on Tuesday. The nationally televised press meet was convened to announce the details of the political party to be launched by Ulaga Naayakan (Global Hero), the honorific selected by Haasan himself.
Kamal, who had declared last month at Thiruvananthapuram that his color was not saffron, said on Tuesday that he was willing to forge an alliance with everybody clamoring to see Tamil Nadu as the number one state in India.
What was clear at the end of the press meet was that Tamil moviedom’s Casanova is clueless, rudderless and devoid of any idea about the work at hand. All that he announced was that by January he would launch a digital platform by name Maiam Whistle, a kind of mobile app or digital platform. The actor himself was not aware of the kind of mobile app he was launching and someone from his team had to prod him to explain what it was all about.
Kamal Haasan is not familiar with delivering an articulate speech with clarity. He said he was planning to tour Tamil Nadu and interact with the people to understand their problems before launching the much awaited political party. “No, I have not selected any name for the party. The manifesto is also not ready. Everything will be in place by January,” said Haasan. Interestingly he did not mention the year… It could be January 2018 or January 2019 or even January 2020. All one has to do is to wait with prayers in the lips… like the great Indian hornbill waiting for the monsoon rains!
Kamal Haasan also made it clear that terrorism and extremism were entirely different issues. This was to the question on Hindu terrorism which he mentioned in his guest column in one of the pro-DMK periodicals published by the Vikatan Group. Kamal, who had declared last month at Thiruvananthapuram that his color was not saffron, said on Tuesday that he was willing to forge an alliance with everybody clamoring to see Tamil Nadu as the number one state in India.
He said he was neither left nor right but prefers to be the Centre… Other than the issue of corruption, the actor did not have much to tell the audience. By the time he called off the press meet, it was sure that he was not sure of himself. There is an old saying in Tamil which goes like this… Someone asks you about the quantity of rice with you. “I have two measures of lentil with me,” is the answer you give. This sums up the question hour session Kamal Haasan had with journalists on Tuesday.
At the end of the press meet, the scorecard read Advantage Rajnikanth! The less one speaks, the better. The press meet gave out the message that Kamal Haasan has to travel many miles not only in Tamil Nadu but all over the world many times before coming out with a political outfit.
While Kamal Haasan was addressing the media at a star hotel in Chennai, another star who launched his political career in 2006 was seen being carried around by three of his associates in a Chennai suburb. Vijayakanth, founder of the DMDK was seen being carried around by helpers as he was not in a position to stand properly. The actor, once known for his prompt dialogue delivery, is not in a position to speak properly. He himself does not know what he is speaking and someone should be around to make clear what he is telling.
There is a leadership vacuum in Tamil Nadu following the demise of Jayalalithaa and the exit of Karunanidhi from the center stage of politics. But Kamal Haasan is not the one who occupies that space because Tamil Nadu population is choosy about the kind of leaders they want. Kamal Haasan does not have any track record. It should be noted that women outnumber men in Tamil Nadu. The question being asked is whether the Tamil Nadu women, rooted in tradition and culture, would accept a person like Kamal Haasan as their leader.
Charu Haasan, the actor’s elder brother himself has declared that the latter would never become the chief minister of the State or a successful politician. Times have changed from the era of Karunanidhi, MGR, and Jayalalithaa. Kamal Haasan may be able to deliver the dialogues penned by scriptwriters while dubbing for movies. But he cannot speak coherently in a style which could be comprehended by the man in the street. It is the latter who decides the fate of aspiring politicians like Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth. The Ulaga Nayakan has exposed the chinks in his armor. Let’s wait for Thalaivar to open his mind.
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