With Maiam Whistle, Kamal Haasan focuses on an info-based campaign
In Tamil Nadu’s political cacophony the app has a novelty factor that will highlight for Kamal Haasan’s party, but more importantly, credit should be given for the thought to integrate the use of technology to address important issues that affect the common citizen into a political campaignUpdated: May 02, 2018 16:55 IST
On Monday, actor-turned-politician and leader of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), Kamal Haasan, launched Maiam Whistle, a whistleblower mobile application for voters to flag civic problems, corruption and socio-political challenges in their area. In Tamil Nadu, the app will definitely have a novelty value and due credit should be given to the party’s decision to integrate technology with a political campaign that heavily focusses on citizen-related issues.
Unlike the conventional political campaign techniques involving theatrics, blame games and lofty promises, Mr Haasan’s approach, till now, has been to involve people and ‘awaken’ them about their rights. This was the approach of the Dravidian parties in its initial years; it is something they have long forgotten.
There is another feature that makes Mr Haasan’s politics different from the others: his constant reminders to his supporters to not get carried away or expect overnight changes from the party. On Monday, he repeated the same idea when he said that the app was “not a magic wand” but it was a listening tool and a “first step towards the solution”.
Such an information-based campaign is a welcome change. It is to be seen, though, if this approach will have an impact in electoral politics. However, what will be closely watched, and what could make a difference, is the work the MNM will be undertaking at Adigathur, a village adopted by the party.