Kamal Haasan has formally launched his political party. Rajinikanth is getting ready with his. Vishal too looks like he is entering politics. The last one is particularly a happy development, as anything that can keep Vishal away from acting has to be welcomed unconditionally.
The thing is in the last one-and-half years the number of people taking up active politics in Tamil Nadu has shot up exponentially. Frankly, politics has become the new IT industry in Tamil Nadu — every one is getting into it.
There could be two reasons for this 1) Jayalalithaa is dead and Karunanidhi is no longer active as a politician 2) Politics is the only field that has managed to survive the twin onslaught of demonetisation and GST.
And as a humour columnist, who has been making tasteless jokes on others and generally behaving irresponsibly, it is no surprise that I am being seen by many as a ‘political material’. When are you going to take the political plunge is a question that I get asked very regularly these days by several people, unmindful of the fact that they are totally imaginary.
I would straightaway confess that politics is a tempting vocation for me, because much like journalism, politics too has no real standards. Pretty much any individual, or any carbon-based life form, can make it in both journalism and politics.
In journalism, whenever we goof up, which is often, we practically shrug our shoulders and just move on. Sometimes, when there is too much hue and cry, we put out a ‘ the error is regretted’ message in point size smaller than standard bacteria and push it in some obscure corner of the paper that one rarely sees (Editorial). Turns out that politicians are even more shameless than us journalists. To this day, I have not come across any politician who has ever said the equivalent of ‘the error is regretted’ message. Politics, like friendship, is never having to say you are sorry.
This aside, I do have a passion for politics and public life. I feel — I am sure Kakkan, Anna, Rajaji, Jeeva felt the same when they got into politics — all other politicos are absolute morons.
But before I announce the launch of my party, I would like the world to know where I stand on the major issues facing the State. For the record, Kamal or Rajini has not done this. Nor has Edappadi Palanisami. But to be fair to him, he has not stated his opinion on any subject because he has none to talk of.
As on Thursday afternoon, this is my ideological position:
Corruption: Like many others, I too would like to describe corruption as the biggest scourge facing the State, but I wouldn’t because I honestly don’t know what ‘scourge’ really means. Is scourge some kind of disease? Something like leprosy or something? Not sure. Must check the dictionary. Till I get hold of a good lexicon and understand what scourge is, it is only fair that I move on to the next subject.
Cauvery: Most of the people who are opining on the vexatious Cauvery river water dispute are talking — pardon my French — connerie (bullshit). They have no real understanding of the ground realities. Come summer, when the water becomes scarce, I would personally travel all the way to Coorg and other places near Talakaveri, stay there, at State expense, for over a month, and understand first-hand what the situation is. Whether this solves the Cauvery issue or not, it surely will solve my problem of which place to go for summer vacation with family. Next year, I’ll try and tackle Mullaiperiyar issue similarly.
Samacheer Kalvi: I am of the view that ‘old fogeys’ like me, who are no longer students should not have an active say in what students do. I would want students to decide what kind of education they want. And if they find education taxing, I will let the income tax department handle it because taxing falls under its purview.
Kachatheevu: Before the end of my term, I promise that I — after talking to all the stakeholders and convincing them to stay on the same page — will be able to identify Kachatheevu on the atlas.
Farming: If you look at the ancient history of Tamils, you will realise most of them eked out a living through agriculture and cultivating their own fruits and vegetables because there was no Big Basket then. Also, hailing from a small town of Madurai, I have personally seen how farmers tend to their cattle and this experience clearly taught me what the farmers need the most: Good hand sanitisers.
Filmdom: I will straightaway remove all the taxes levied on filmdom. I will in fact provide incentives for film making. If possible, I’ll talk to the Centre, to remove personal income tax on film personalities. I’ll provide State awards every week. Allow red beacon on cars of Yogi Babu and others. In short, I’ll do everything to keep film people happy and ensure they stick to films.
Don’t thank me. I am only saving my political career.