Actor and filmmaker Kamal Haasan, who has been supportive of the protests over the Tamil sport of bull taming, said the stir was a collective expression of discontent and anger.
“This is not a sudden outburst. It happened because we found a reason. We have always been looking for reasons,” Haasan said on Tuesday, a day after Jallikattu protests were withdrawn.
The actor, who took on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for opposing the protests, further said the agitation, by no stretch of imagination, be called anti-national.
Citing the historical stir for a separate Tamil land, Haasan said, “Were they anti-national?”
Haasan was critical of Monday’s police action by which the largely peaceful protests turned violent following a crackdown. Referring to the Tamil land protest again, he said women and children were absolutely safe then, unlike the Jallikattu agitation.
In fact, police action against the peaceful protests was unwarranted, Haasan said. He felt that the government ought to have communicated the intricacies of the legislation to the students.
“I was invited to come for the stir, but I did not visit the venue as it would amount to taking away their limelight,” he added. In fact, it was his tweet on this that was taken as guidance by most of the film fraternity that maintained a distance from the protests.
Poorva Joshipura, the CEO of PETA India, responded to Haasan’s criticism of first attempting to stop “bull riding rodeos” before focusing on Jallikattu, saying her organisation helps animals only in India as the name suggests.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, she said, “PETA US has been working to stop animal abuse in the US since 1980s. Bullfighting and activities associated with Rodeo, which Haasan refers to, are also against law in many states. PETA Europe has made bullfights in many areas of Spain illegal.”