The recent activism surrounding the Ennore creek is rather astounding. However, it came too late, despite the fact that the seeds of protests were sown several years back but started growing into something fruitful only when actor Kamal Haasan laid his hands on it.
As environmental activist Nityanand Jayaram, who had accompanied Kamal Haasan to the creek yesterday points out rightfully, "When people who have a mass appeal give a message, it reaches people more easily and amplifies the message as well," says environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman. "Even Kamal Haasan was shocked by the extent of damage inflicted upon the Ennore creek," he had added.
But, the Ennore activism just ahead of the Tamil Nadu by-elections and Kamal Haasan's decision of taking a political plunge couldn't be a mere coincidence. There have been no prior records of any politician visiting the area or raising concern over the pollution there earlier. So, that way the actor has struck Gold pertaining to his grand entry into politics. Many would consider it a political strategy. However, many still believe that this positive politics. If he chooses agendas that prove beneficial for the people of Tamil Nadu, then why not?
His clarion call for highlighting the corruption in the state and sending mails to politicians is still ringing in our heads. The call had motivated thousands, so much so that the ministers had to shut their accounts temporarily as they were flooded with mails. Kamal Haasan, indeed, has proved that if you have to make a change, be a part of the system. And that is exactly what he is trying to do. No harm done.
All said and done, political experts believe that the Ennore activism would be a turning point in Kamal Haasan's new-found career as a politician. This is how:
Mobilising the crowd: The otherwise subdued interest of the citizens of Tamil Nadu has awakened for more than one reasons in Kamal Haasan's virtual leadership. While Twitter has played its part well, Kamal Haasan's strong words against corruption has done the major work. Right after the Ennore debate, Chennai witnessed a sight that it had never experienced before. Close to 200 people, including fishermen, formed a human chain at Chennai's Elliot beach. Spearheaded by the Coastal Research Centre, forming a human chain had two agendas- drawing the attention of the people toward the condition of the Creek and mobilising people toward the cause.
RK Nagar is in North Chennai: Incidentally, the RK Nagar constituency, which is the centre of AIADMK's contention, is in North Chennai, which also harbours the Ennore Creek. While the entire country is waiting for the monsoon, this area is dreading its arrival because of the dilapidated condition of the creek. If the matter is not resolved immediately, the worst effected during the monsoons would be North Chennai. So, drawing the attention of the people from this area could well be a political strategy by the actor to build his political plinth.
Not just RK Nagar, other areas will be benefitted too: Yesterday, the Flood Control Room had admitted that if there were floods this year, the areas that would be affected mostly included Manali, North Madras, Madhavaram, Tiruvottiyur, Valasaravakkam and Sholinganallur. Home to thousands of people, if the issue with the Creek was resolved, the people in this area will be hugely benefitted.
Industries will be benefitted: Pooja Kumar of the Coastal Resource Center said that the 2015 floods in Chennai had stopped the functioning of the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited in Manali, which had also affected the livelihood of the people in the city. Once the sewerage issue in the city is resolved, industries will function properly without any hindrance.
Hope for a better future: Kamal Haasan has already won hearts through his movies. But these agendas that he has taken up are linked directly to the welfare of the people. That adds to the points he has earned among his fans and followers. He has shown people a dream of a corruption-free and pollution-free Tamil Nadu and that indeed will work in his favour during his political stint.