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By attacking Kamal Haasan, the AIADMK is boosting the regressive fringe

By saying that Kamal Haasan is a third-rate actor and commenting on his live-in relationship, prison and law affairs minister CV Shanmugam has crossed a line

editorials Updated: Jul 18, 2017 15:24 IST
Hindustan Times
Kamal Haasan,AIADMK,Tamil Nadu
Actor Kamal Haasan during the launch of Tamil version of reality show Bigg Boss. Haasan is not the first big actor to comment on the need to cleanse governance in Tamil Nadu. Earlier, the mega popular Rajinikanth had also made similar remarks.(PTI)

The running feud between a reel life matinee idol and real life politicians just got murkier. Actor Kamal Haasan recently invited the ire of the AIADMK after he accused the state government of corruption. On Sunday, a senior minister of the ruling party made a number of petty remarks about his personal life and acting calibre. This is about as low as it can get.

Haasan is not the first big actor to comment on the need to cleanse governance in Tamil Nadu. Earlier, the mega star Rajinikanth had also made similar remarks. But Haasan and the AIADMK have a history. He was vocal against the uniform imposition of 28% entertainment tax under the GST (Goods and Services Tax) on Tamil films in the same slab as Hollywood and Hindi films. Before that, he criticised the government’s inept handling of the 2015 floods in Chennai. His arguments can be countered through facts, figures and logic, not by this sort of gutter politics.

The latest provocation came at a press conference last week in which Haasan proclaimed that corruption was pervasive in “all departments” of the AIADMK-led government. A few days before this, the Hindu Makkal Katchi had demanded that Haasan be arrested for hosting Bigg Boss Tamil, a show that was “against Tamil culture.” Now, by saying that Haasan is a third-rate actor and commenting on his personal relationship, prison and law affairs minister CV Shanmugam has crossed a line. Taking potshots at an actor fans revere as Ulaganayagan (world hero) is playing into the hands of political formations which want to use the opportunity to make inroads into the region. A Right-wing fringe group like Hindu Makkal Katchi can’t be the arbiter of what comprises Tamil culture. It is ironic this mud-slinging is happening in a state known to be the erstwhile cradle of rationalism and scientific temper. The last shot in the battle hasn’t been heard yet.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 15:23 IST