Makkal Needhi Maiam chief and veteran actor Kamal Haasan said that he is not ready to be forced into an alliance. When asked about whether he will join the grand alliance (Mahagathbandhan), Kamal Hassan said:
"You are putting me in a group without my permission. I’m not ready to be forced into an alliance. I am keeping my options open, but maybe is not a yes. Don’t align me with Mahagatbandhan. Keeping my options open for 2019".
While putting his perspective on the narrative for 2019, he stated that the 'diversity, preserving the diversity and respecting the diversity is the only way forward'.
"The 2019 narrative should be about diversity, preserving the diversity and respecting the diversity and that's the only way forward. Humanity is an easy word to mouth but to practice it, we will have to accept diversity. Definitely, we are going to be responsible to change the way the world is going to travel. Putting it to practice...we might agree to disagree but Nation building is more important".
When asked about the topic of patriotism and national anthem, Kamal Haasan said:
When you play a National anthem in cinema theatres, that's not the place to test it. Goosebumps happen when it is done in a proper atmosphere. I have had tears, experienced goosebumps when I went to get my Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri. But if it happens every day, it loses its effect.
A panel discussion of the Republic Summit 2018 was addressed by Kamal Haasan and Union Minister Smriti Irani on the topic 'What's the 2019 narrative'. The two politicians spoke to Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on a range of topics including patriotism, ideologies, personalities and more than anything else narratives.