Veteran Malayalam actor Mohanlal’s blog exhorting people to respect their right to freedom and soldiers who valiantly fight to defend the country has triggered widespread reactions.
In the blog titled ‘How can we live after the death of India’, Mohanlal commented on the issue of nationalism and spoke about soldiers and their sacrifice for the country instead of directly commenting on the ongoing controversy in Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Many criticised the actor, also a lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, for mixing patriotism with events unfolding in JNU. Angry left student outfits organised protest marches on some campuses and some reports also said the superstar’s posters were torn and smeared with black paint in some places.
Without mentioning JNU, the actor, an avid blogger, talked about Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Sudheesh who died recently without ever meeting his five-month-old daughter.
He wrote that it is shameful that those who sit in the comfort of their homes speak about freedom and nationalism. He wrote in Malayalam that while it is important to respect freedom and it is equally important to respect the price at which it comes.
“We cover ourselves in thick blankets at the first sign of chill. We have hot water to brush and bath. After utilising these comforts we go to universities and colleges to discuss about our soldiers, abuse and question them. Our country is the soil we stand on, the air we breathe, water we drink and finally we will part of it when die,” he said in the post.
Malayalam director Vinayan said his position would only help politicians who want to exploit the mounting divisive tendencies in the country. “No doubt anti-nationals should be punished. But mixing patriotism with freedom of expression raises some suspicion,” he wrote on his blog.
CPI(M) legislator MB Rajesh also criticised the actor asking him to read the last letter of Rohith Vemula, the Dalit student who committed suicide on University of Hyderabad campus.
Many left-leaning writers and intellectuals too criticised his blog saying it surfaced at an “inappropriate time”.