Kamal Haasan celebrates his 65th birthday

Kamal Haasan. (AFP File Photo)

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Thursday celebrated his 65th birthday at his native Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram district by unveiling a bust of his late father D Srinivasan.

Paying rich tributes to his father, Haasan, addressing a gathering of his party members and supporters, said "...for me, in my family no one was in favour of my getting into politics." His lawyer-father who had participated in the freedom movement was, however, for getting into politics, he indicated.

With the founding of Makkal Needhi Maiam last year, his late father's wish has also come true, the actor said. His foray into politics was, however, "not due to dearth," of other avenues, Haasan said.

The birthday celebrations at his native Paramakudi, which is about 500 km from here, along with his family and MNM members was a special moment for him, he said. The actor said a statue of his mentor, late filmmaker K Balachander, will be unveiled at his new office here on Friday.

Stressing the need for the youth honing skills and providing jobs to others as well, Haasan said a Skill Development Centre is being set up by his family at Paramakudi. The initiative is intended to aid youths to hone their skills and it will become functional with the assistance of a university, he said.

"Skill development should grow big across the country on a scale similar to a mass movement like the Sathyagraha witnessed during the Independence movement," he said. The actor, who is working on his movie "Indian 2," said it was his desire that young people, rather than moving to big cities in search of job opportunities, should be able to get gainful employment by honing their skills in their hometowns.

No vocation was below anyone's dignity and all professions are honourable, he said adding the need was to nurture development of diverse skills among the youth. Everybody should not be alike like "engineers and advocates alone," he said.

By developing skills youth could become entrepreneurs and while such changes were already being witnessed elsewhere, Tamil Nadu has not yet fully tapped the potential of skill development, he said.

The MNM chief said he himself grew only by developing his skills, an apparent reference to his acting and filmmaking abilities. Reminiscing about his brief stint at a hairdressing salon, he said the experience helped him in his endeavours later.

"A skilled hairdresser can earn about a lakh in big cities," he said.

November 7 is also the death anniversary of Haasan's father. The actor's fans also celebrated the eventful 60-year journey of the actor in Tamil cinema beginning with his debut as a child artise in "Kalathur Kannamma," in 1959.

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