Kamal Haasan on delivering speech at Harvard: Will speak on Tamil Nadu out of sheer necessity

Updated: Feb 01, 2018, 12:43 IST | Sonil Dedhia

Set to deliver speech at Harvard University, Kamal Hassan intends to shed light on Tamil Nadu that has 'sunk to lowest depths'

Kamal Hassan
Kamal Hassan

His last appearance at the Harvard Business School in 2016 saw him stressing the importance of freedom of speech. Two years later, Kamal Haasan has been invited again as the keynote speaker at the annual India Conference at the prestigious university. The superstar, who is taking a plunge into politics, tells mid-day that he will address the issues plaguing Tamil Nadu in his speech scheduled for February 10.

"The topic is Tamil Nadu. I chose to speak on it out of sheer necessity. Our state has sunk to the lowest depths. It affects my dignity as a man, even more as a Tamilian," says Hassan. A few weeks away from announcing the name of his political party and beginning a state tour to familiarise himself with the people's concerns, the superstar feels shedding light on the current scenario of Tamil Nadu on a platform such as this will lead to increased awareness.

"I yearn to see my state rise to the height it deserves. The rise of my state will translate to the rise of my nation. Harvard is a seat of learning like our Nalanda University. If only we had continued that tradition without break, we would have been holding such seminars at least 200 years back. These platforms are important and cannot be neglected."

Eager to have a discussion with like-minded people, Hassan says, "This is going to be an engagement with more fortunate minds who availed an opportunity to seek knowledge. A place that dispenses knowledge, for money or free, is still a seat of wisdom. Having their ears, even though only momentarily, is a great opportunity."

R Madhavan

Others at Harvard
Bollywood actor R Madhavan (below) and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan, the younger brother of Chiranjeevi, were invited as guest speakers at the 14th edition of the India Conference at Harvard, one of the largest student-run conferences with a focus on India in the US. The conference in February 2017 was hosted at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School by the graduate students of Harvard University.

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