People are always optimistic. The worst of times always brings the best out of them, at least as far as hope is concerned. So, when a Kamal Haasan says, "Naalai Namathe" (Tomorrow is ours), no one disagrees. But, it is easier said. Whether the tomorrow really belongs to the people is not known to anyone. It depends on who is peddling the promise.
It is a State that is madly in love with its leaders to the extent that dozens of lives would simply go up in flames if something happens to their leader. Kamal Haasan is in the best position to judge having watched local politics from more close quarters and quite dispassionately too. So, when Kamal declared that "Tomorrow belongs to us," it was closely watched by not just the Tamilians but also the entire nation.
After all, actors have to be taken seriously in Tamil politics. They have left their mark in the past and are bound to, in the future. Kamal has started off from former President A P J Abdul Kalam's House with the blessings of his family members to launch his alternative politics in Tamil Nadu. Kamal emerged as the voice of the people of Tamil Nadu, through 2017 expressing his views on a variety of issues agitating people.
He made good use of the social media platforms to join the vox populi, be it on corruption, NEET, environmental issues or acts of terror. He also raised his attack on individual liberties and freedom guaranteed under the Constitution and decried the Hindutva forces. He has stood for freedom of expression. He has been focused on bringing about the much-needed change to the State. In the run-up to the launch of his party, he has met intellectuals, civil society leaders and those whom he perceives as clean political leaders of the country.
Be that as it may, whether Kamal Haasan will certainly deliver is to be seen. Earlier, we have seen an Arvind Kejriwal who has failed to deliver in real terms after coming to power and adopted frivolous politics over larger public good. Corruption, scandals and authoritarianism have become hallmarks of his rule.
Mamata Benerjee too failed to keep her word on good governance relying heavily upon minority appeasement and coercion and violence to retain power in West Bengal. "Na Khaaunga, Na Khaanedenga" leadership too has failed on several fronts and we are witness to the systemic failures that have afflicted our economy. One wishes Kamal Hasan will be different. He is honest and clean and is a no non-sense man. Hope the systems do not limit his enthusiasm in future. All the best to Kamal and his Makkal Needhi Maiam (People’s Justice Centre)!