Kamal Haasan Plans to Make Tamil Nadu’s Villages the 'Best in the Country'
Delivering the Keynote Speech at Harvard University's India Conference, Haasan said he wants to equip all villages in his home state with world-class amenities.
Kamal Haasan at the Harvard Business School on Sunday. (Photo: CNN-News18)
Chennai: Superstar-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has announced a plan to adopt one village in every district of Tamil Nadu after the launch of his party, saying that he is tired of complaining about government inaction and wants to take matters into his own hands.
Delivering the Keynote Speech at Harvard University's India Conference on Sunday, he said he wants to equip all villages in his home state with world-class amenities so that they become “the best villages in the country, and later in the world”.
“On February 21, as I embark on my political journey, I am announcing a plan to adopt one village in every district of Tamil Nadu. These villages will be planned with an intention to be holistically sustainable, economically, ecologically, sociologically, technologically and high on education, skilling and health... all key faculties for a healthy society. With this we will set in motion a series of virtuous cycles in Tamil Nadu by being the change,” he said.
Haasan said that as a first measure, he plans to take one village and “re-imagine it for excellence”. Later, he said, his party 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," he said.
He added that he wants to follow the vision of his mentor Mahatma Gandhi. "My mentor once stated and I quote ‘If the villages perish, India will perish too. It will be no more India. Her own mission in the world will get lost’. For him, rebuilding of the nation could be achieved only by reconstructing self-reliant and self-sustained villages,” he said.
K Hariharan, a film critic who is also working on a book on Haasan, said that there are no villages in Tamil Nadu, and Haasan was talking about the small towns in the state.
“These small towns need to be upgraded. Helping them to help themselves is something he has in mind. He has to motivate them and it will happen. His goodwill will bring some sanity to sanitation. I think his charisma will pull that off. At this moment, AIADMK is virtually on survival mode. This is the right moment to go there and tell them to take the right decision and vote," he said.
RK Radhakrishnan, the associate editor of Frontline, however, said that while Haasan has been making noises about helping people, he has yet to do anything on the ground. “Going by the massive gap between what he has said and his actions, I'd wait until he actually translates his dreams into action at least once before taking him as a serious political contender," he said.
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