Condemning the recent violence against Dalits in Dharmapuri district, All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) president R. Sarath Kumar has said that leaders of political parties should play a vital role in ensuring communal harmony.

“Our party is working towards that,” he told The Hindu. The Dharmapuri violence was highly condemnable and should not have happened, the actor-politician said, advocating industrialisation in southern districts to avert caste clashes.

He felt that caste animosity was a major impediment to economic mobility in the south. Under corporate social responsibility programmes, major firms should involve themselves in educating the rural populace.

On the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, he said the importance media gave to the issue did not necessarily mean it was a popular protest. “The need of the hour is power and for that we need the nuclear plant. Common cause is lacking in the protest.”

On his transition from films to politics, Mr. Sarath Kumar said he was basically a socially responsible individual and films and politics gave him the right mix for serving people.

“Acting is my profession but I have been engaged in social service from my school days. The transition from films to politics has been smooth, but nothing comes easy in life. Contemporary politics is different. Today people are more informed. Politicians cannot take people for granted.”

According to him, every person should enter politics. Films could no more be used as a wild card to enter politics. “Popularity does not automatically lead you to power.”

His party strongly believed that the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, would deliver all her promises.

The power situation was the only hurdle. “We will uphold alliance dharma and support her till she completes the term.”

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