Actor Kamal Haasan has once again made headline for his virulent attack on the ‘saffron politics’.
In his weekly column in Ananda Vikatan, Kamal Haasan, who is soon expected to join politics, has alleged that Hindu outfits can no longer deny the existence of extremism among their ranks.
"In the past the Hindu right used to engage only in intellectual debates with the other religious groups. Once this approach started failing they have resorted to muscle power. They too started indulging in violence. The Hindus cannot challenge others to show extremists among them since extremism has spread to that extent even among the Hindus,” Kamal said.
Kamal theorized that the muscle-flexing by the Hindu right was demonstrated in the manner many religious festivals in Tamil Nadu have been brought to the streets. He is apparently referring to Ganesh Chaturthi festival which used to be celebrated at home using small statues made of clay. During the last three decades Tamil Nadu too has followed the footsteps of Mumbai in placing large plaster of Paris statues of Ganesh at street corners which were later taken out in processions for submersion.
Kamal’s charge came in reply to a question posed to him by Kerala Chief Minister Pinariayi Vijayan if Tamil Nadu’s social reformist agenda was being undermined by the intrusion of Hindutva forces in the state’s polity. Vijayan even gets complimented by Kamal who concludes his reply with the words that “Tamil Nadu would soon be back in the forefront of social reforms, presently exemplified by Kerala.”
Reacting to Kamal Haasan’s statement on Hindu extremists, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy called the actor morally corrupt in every aspect- personally, financially and politically. “He can do anything at anytime. I don’t think that one needs to take seriously what he says. I think our NIA should visit him and ask him what proof he has,” Swamy told Times Now.
BJP spokesperson S.R. Sekar dismissed Kamal’s charge on Hindu extremism as “unsubstantiated and publicity mongering.” “Kamal says that the caste identity of Tamil film stars were being discussed openly on the internet these days. It only shows the failure of the Dravidian movement to create a society free of caste identity. Caste parties have proliferated in Tamil Nadu only during the last three decades, when the DMK and AIADMK have ruled. Likewise in Kerala extremism has grown only under Left and Congress governments. So where is the BJP’s role in this?” he asked.
Kamal’s latest theory on Hindu extremism is another attempt by the actor to move farther away from the BJP. Only two weeks ago he had done U-Turn about demonetization, calling its intent fraudulent after having initially welcomed it as a bold move against black money. Vijayan’s leading question is also well-timed when the Kerala Chief Minister himself is battling the RSS in his own backyard and is confronted with allegations of supporting Love Jihad and extremist groups like the Popular Front of India. Kamal had met Vijayan in September in Thiruvananthapuram and had described the CPI(M) veteran as an old friend.
In his earlier column in Vikatan, Kamal had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept that note ban was a wrong move. He had also said that he was “duty-bound to openly apologise for his haste" in lauding demonetisation.
Clearly the film star is attempting to worm his way into the anti-BJP front that is emerging ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections
Earlier, Kamal Haasan, when asked about his joining politics, had said that his colour is not saffron.
"My colour is obviously seen over the 40 years I have been working in cinema, definitely it's not saffron," he had said after his meeting with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in September.
His meeting with Vijayan and later with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had given in hints on where he stands on the current political spectrum in India.