Addressing a gathering at Yercaud, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan has said that his party would work to provide equal rights to women

Addressing a gathering at Yercaud, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan has said that his party would work to provide equal rights to women. Haasan also said that his party wants to bring gender equality in all sectors from agriculture to space.

“When we announced a salary for housewives, everyone criticised it. But now, they ask how much we will provide as salary. Mahatma Gandhi asked the British to quit India. Now, people should join hands with the MNM to ask corrupt politicians to quit,” Haasan said. 

This comes against the backdrop of the massive controversy that Haasan has courted after saying that ‘dignity and equipoise’ of women are sufficient to deter domestic violence and sexual harassment. Sharing a video of a woman showing her skills with a metal weapon and stating it to be a self-defence technique, Kamal Haasan termed it as a violent act and added, “when non-violence meets violence, there is no combat.” Among others, Congress leader Lakshmi Ramachandran slammed Hassan and tweeted,  “What are you saying, Sir? I will do anything to save myself and loved ones from getting harmed by a criminal/murderer/rapist. Dignity my foot!”

Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam

The Vishwaroopam star had launched his party in a public meeting in Madurai in February 2018, saying that MNM will fill the vacuum in Tamil politics. He also launched his party flag which shows six interlocked hands which symbolised co-operation between the Southern states of India. In the Lok Sabha elections, the party contested 36 seats but did not win any and also failed to open its account in the Tamil Nadu by-polls.

Kamal Haasan has actively started campaigning for polls, and in the first phase of his campaign between December 13-16, Kamal Haasan visited the districts in Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Nellai, Thoothukudi, and Kanyakumari where he proclaimed that his party will fulfill AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran’s dream to establish Madurai as the second capital of Tamil Nadu. The actor-turned-politician titled his campaign- ‘Let’s Renovate Tamil Nadu’. 

Tamil Nadu Assembly elections

Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are due during April-May 2021 and the political parties have started their campaign. While DMK’s MK Stalin is eyeing becoming Chief Minister for the first time, AIADMK has arrived at reconciliation between two warring factions – of Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswamy (EPS). Incumbent E Palaniswamy has been named as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee. The BJP is yet to make a formal announcement of the alliance with AIADMK and is in talks with Stalin’s estranged brother MK Alagiri. On the other side, AIADMK has said that they are the big-brother within the NDA alliance. Meanwhile, Kamal Hassan is on a campaign trail and Alagiri has said that the launch of his political party will be in January. Superstar Rajinikanth who was about to launch his party this year has backed out due to health reasons.