In 2013, when the political forces wanted his magnum opus Viswaroopam banned, actor-producer Kamal Haasan fought tooth and nail against the ruling government. He threatened to quit the country if his artistic freedom is encroached upon.
Fast forward to beginning of 2017, after the ruling party went headless and Tamil Nadu youth protested at the Marina Beach in Chennai against the ban on popular sport Jallikattu, he again took to voice his strong views and remarked “an untrained politician ruins the country”.
Exactly seven months later, Kamal Haasan has once again emerged—much stronger this time—being critical of the political establishments. In a statement on Wednesday evening, which he tweeted and was also released as an evocative voice message through popular messenger WhatsApp, Kamal Haasan requested his fans and people of the state to expose corruption. He requested the people to explain the difficulties faced by them due to corruption and also ask questions in a respectable manner.
Saying that there was no need for him to act like a ‘priest’ between the people and the government, he said the rulers should know that the people are more honourable. “There will be a few lakh questions. It remains to be unseen if the ministers would arrest the questioners or would they provide an answer to those questions,” he said in the statement.
The Tamil Big Boss host further said, to begin with, he would cite the corrupt practices in the film industry. “Barring a few like me, others in the movie world are keeping silent to the corrupt drama enacted in the name of giving tax exemption certificates,” he pointed out.
Interestingly, Kamal Haasan is in the line of fire earning the wrath of several ministers and the state BJP for his comments about corruption in every department of the state government. Local Administration Minister Velumani threatened to conduct a tax audit on him, while Finance Minsiter D. Jayakumar asked him to join politics and walk the talk.
BJP’s H. Raja called him “spineless” and his party’s state president Thamizhisai Soundararajan ridiculed him. Kamal Haasan’s voice against the government and the state BJP has put politicos in a quandary.
But right from the Viswaroopam days and then after the death of Jayalalithaa, Kamal Haasan has been pushing boundaries and even crossed the line at times. This time around, his emotive poetic riddles, style of using sarcasm to a good effect to pull down the politicos through his messages and statements have been stronger than ever, asking people of the state to rise above and stand up against corruption.
In a state where cinema and politics have always been two strange bed fellows, Kamal Haasan’s outbursts have led to people talking about his political inclinations and possible political entry that is likely in the cards.
In addition, his latest statement that he came into politics at a very young age when he protested against Hindi, makes it clear that Kamal Haasan has decided to play it to the boundary.
Unlike in 2013, this time his threatens are not about leaving the country, but of taking the political class head on. Not surprisingly, his statements have instigated emotions within the hundreds and thousands of nameless and faceless people who have always had some kind of regrets against the government and corruption.
Kamal Haasan’s statement to flood the government websites with documents exposing corruption has gone viral. Apart from being a widely admired actor, Kamal Haasan has always been looked upon as someone who is fearless in voicing his views and is someone the people of the state seem to celebrate at this moment.
As opposed to his counterpart Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan is not a person who retreats into a shell blaming “the lack of a system in place”.
Kamal Haasan is shrewd and smarter than his colleagues in Kollywood and has also sharpened his pro-people position with his fearless statements. And hence, handling Kamal Haasan would be much difficult and complicated for the politicos who have been saying “let him join politics and then talk”.