Kamal Haasan, an Indian film actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playback singer, lyricist, and politician, was invited to Harvard as a keynote speaker today.
Kamal Haasan spoke about the problems Tamil Nadu, the state he belongs to, faces as they walk on the roads of development.
Here’s an excerpt from his speech:
3 big things plaguing my state today are:
1) The apathy showed by the political class on the state’s financial health and management, with the revenue deficit at its all-time high of Rs 160 billion and a growing State Gross Fiscal Deficit which stands at approx Rs. 405 Billion (the 3rd highest in the country) in 2016-2017. A large part of this deficit is driven by ineffective public spending and the lethargy and the lack of vision by people in government;
2) Inability to manage our state treasures namely our waterways which for decades have been neglected. If only we have managed this better, we would be water self-sufficient.
3) The gradual lowering of the bar in every aspect of society, from education & skilling to healthcare to social justice to creating employment.
He also shared his dream for his state and how Mahatma Gandhi is his idol, he said:
“My mentor was none other than MK Gandhi. I am shameless in plagiarizing his idea for the benefit of my people and my society. On February 21, 2018, as I embark on my political journey, I am announcing a plan to adopt one village in every district of TAMIZH NADU with the vision and aspiration for them to be “the best villages ever in INDIA and later why not in the WORLD”. An exemplary of sorts for my state and country. 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”. I truly believe that a strong TAMIZH NADU augurs well for a strong INDIA.”
In an urge to help his movement to make Tamil Nadu a better place he said:
” Help me help Tamizh Nadu! I am, just the medium, a tool offered for your use, sharpen me, shape me to sculpt our little village. The time for lamenting is over. Everyone is in agreement that Tamilnadu has touched its Nadir. It is time to recraft the polity.I recently signed, in a college’s guest register, as “Politician”. On second thoughts I should have signed as a “Polity-Culturist” – someone cultivating a new Polity.”
Kamal Concluded saying,
“I guess to indicate the direction of my journey:
It is simple.
A slave called Spartacus who dared to think of freedom when slavery was a social address and norm in Republican Rome.
A man called Genghis Khan who dared to dream of an Empire knowing fully well he was nothing but a nomad tribal.
And closer home, to my forefathers, the Tamizh Chera, Chozha & Paandiyan Kings who domineered the spirit of language, administration, and world trade. Each of them over time has left behind some great ideas, some faulty, yet it is there for us to improve upon. Even recent leaders have left behind lessons to be learned. Their endeavors, success, and failures, are specimens in our socio-political laboratory. I have the humility to learn and keep learning. Partner with me on this epic journey of re-imagining & re-building Tamil Nadu and hopefully one day our country for a better tomorrow!
Listen to the full speech HERE