Whoever was the speech writer for John F Kennedy, did a good job of pulling this quote of his together –
Every crisis comes with an opportunity and the Chennai floods of 2015 came with an opportunity and this year’s ongoing rains also present an opportunity. The Chennai floods of 2015 caused untold misery – thousands died, thousands more were rendered homeless and thousands lost everything. The floods brought home Nature’s message, loud and clear – “Don’t mess with me”. Let the waters flow in their natural flood channels, don’t build houses on the way and if you clog the drains with plastic bags, then I won’t leave even a plastic bag full of things behind. Did we heed that message? NO.
Many of the celebrities and well to do people who otherwise want to be seen as good samaritans moved out of the city as quickly as they could and came back when the crisis blew over. Two young men, one an actor and one a radio jockey, stayed and did a stellar job of helping people as much as they could – RJ Balaji and Actor Siddharth (the guy who acted as Bhagat Singh in Rang De Basanti). Chennaites haven’t forgotten and they will not forget these two young men.
Here is a statement made by a certain wannabe leader then – “It’s a nightmare for the poor and middle class. The rich should feel guilty. I am not so rich and yet I feel guilty when I look outside my window and see how people in my city are suffering…..I am truly sad and sick. I feel guilty for my being in a comfortable home. I earn very little compared to the governments. But now when our state is in distress they are asking for donations to do what we appointed the government to do. Of course I will pay because I am constrained to respect the government’s authority. ” – Wannabe leader Kamal Haasan.
This must be a new feeling for Kamal… being a “wannabe”. He started his acting career at the age of four and many wondered if he could have started even earlier because his acting prowess was out of this world. For 58 years now, he has donned the greasepaint and slipped into different personas and each personality remains fresh in our minds …. Kamal’s entry into politics is like the jarring note that suddenly crops up in a seamless symphony, when a string breaks or someone flips a page or one of the musicians misses a cue or a singer’s vocal chords develop a strain.
Kamal Haasan needs to understand that becoming a political leader requires one to “DO” things for the community, before earning the right to represent them as a leader. Just criticising the incumbent government won’t do. From Dec 2015 to Nov 2017 – there were 23 months of opportunity for wannabe leader Kamal to show what he could “DO”. Did he lead a Swachh Bharat campaign? I know he was involved with Exnora, the earlier initiative of the citizens of Chennai to keep their surroundings clean. Did he extend it to all of Chennai? Did he start a campaign to ban plastic bags? The easiest and most impactful initiative that he could have undertaken. Did he start a campaign to de-silt the water channels and water bodies ? Did he even manage to enthuse his film world friends to run the “Amma Kitchens” for free ? Every actor makes tons of money – only two of them I know of, who use their fame and money to do simple things to help the community, Surya runs the Agaram foundation to provide education to the poorest of the poor and Ajith opened up his house and old age home etc for anyone to find shelter during the rains/floods besides making food available from his house.
Its very easy to point fingers at politicians and governments and say why haven’t they done this or that – all valid, but as a wannabe leader, can you showcase what you are willing to “DO” ?
And while on the trail of wannabe leader Kamal …. what has Mersal Vijay done with the huge collections ? Has he offered a small contribution to the relief funds or has he built a hospital instead of a church or has he offered shelter to one victim in any of his sprawling bungalows or has he fed one orphaned child ?? Great dialogues spoken with panache don’t fill empty stomachs nor put a roof over one’s head – they fill the coffers of the actor ! That’s all.
Here’s a challenge to wannabe leader Kamal and other wannabe leaders – on Nov 7th when you (Kamal Haasan) are supposedly launching your political party, can you launch a campaign to make TamilNadu free of plastic bags by Nov 7, 2018? Just that…. deliver on it and then lets see. Till then keep your ill-formed opinions to yourself. Hindu terror??? What an idiot !!
தமிழ் மக்களே, மறுபடியும் ஏமாந்து போகாதீர்! (People of Tamilnadu, please don’t get conned again).