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'Hope Rajinikanth's Colour Isn't Saffron'

'Hope Rajinikanth's Colour Isn't Saffron'

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, who is in the US, spoke on people's right to express, his dream of creating a "corruption-free Tamil Nadu" and the prospect of allying with his contemporary Rajinikanth at the Harvard University on Saturday.

Both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan call themselves as the "agents of change" and want to improve the standard of governance in Tamil Nadu.

Ever since Rajinikanth announced on December 31 his entry into active politics, the two actors have been continuously asked if they would contest elections together.

Mr Haasan, 63, who took the political plunge after accusing the E Palaniswami government of corruption and bad governance, had earlier said that partnering with Rajinikanth, who recently announced his political entry, is not a decision that can be taken now.

"It isn't like choosing the star cast for films," he said and added that they both will have to deliberate whether it is necessary for them to join hands.

Rajinikanth's stock response to similar queries has always been "only time will tell".

However, without ruling out the possibility of future ties, Mr Haasan emphasised "red is not my political complexion" and expects that the two actors are on the same page.

"I hope Rajinikanth's colour is not saffron because if it is, an alliance is unlikely," he said at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Mr Haasan, who aims to "clean politics in Tamil Nadu", said he aspires to be a politician with a difference. "My films were different from my peers and I want to be different in politics too," he said.

The actor also stressed that he is unwilling to settle for one political ideology and would "feed himself in the international buffet of political ideologies".

As a political mentor, he wants youngsters to become the leaders the country needs and challenge the mediocrity in politics in Tamil Nadu.

"My true purpose today is to challenge the status quo and mediocrity that has plagued Tamil Nadu. When average businessmen and politicians set mediocrity as a standard, then rubbish becomes acceptable," he said.

Talking about the freedom of speech, he said that the right to speak is the foundation of democracy and it's important for all of us to protect it.

"Freedom isn't not once it's inside a bank locker," he said.

Mr Haasan is scheduled to announce the name of his party on February 21 at Rameswaram from where he would also launch a statewide political tour called "Nalai Namadhe" (Tomorrow is ours). He calls this tour a "journey of discovery" during which he will attempt to "understand people's needs and aspirations".

He has appealed to the people to support his political journey, saying, "Join hands with me to empower our country and the state".

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Tags: Kamal Haasan Rajinikanth