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Kamal Haasan: Can’t deny there’s Hindu extremism in Tamil Nadu

The Tamil actor made the comments in a write-up featured in Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan, and alleged Hindu outfits were turning state festivals into display of muscle might.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2017 21:03 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Kamal Haasan,Hindu extremism,Tamil Nadu politics
Actor Kamal Haasan has kept everyone guessing over his entry into politics,(File Photo)

Hindu extremism is alive and kicking in Tamil Nadu, actor Kamal Haasan said in a news column on Thursday, giving yet another indication of the direction his impending political journey was likely to take.

In a write-up featured in Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan, Haasan alleged that Hindu outfits were increasingly turning state festivals into public displays of muscle power and violence. “There is Hindu extremism in Tamil Nadu, and you cannot say there is no Hindu terror,” he said.

The piece was met with widespread condemnation from right-wing groups.

Haasan was answering a query from Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the increasing influence of the Hindu right on Tamil Nadu politics. Responding in the positive, the actor predicted that Tamil Nadu would reject the path of extremism and once again turn into a glowing example of social justice.

“In the past, Hindu right-wing groups never indulged in violence. Instead, they engaged with opposing parties in a dialogue. But, as this approach proved unsuccessful, Hindu groups began using muscle power to clamp down on detractors,” Haasan said, adding that Kerala has shown the country how such forms of extremism can be contained.

The BJP, which is trying to expand its footprint in the state, criticised the article and dared Haasan to produce proof to back his “irresponsible, malicious and false propaganda”.

“A superstar like Kamal Haasan should speak with some degree of responsibility. What proof does he have to make such a sweeping comment?” party spokesperson Narayanan Tirupati told Hindustan Times.

Tirupati went on to say that Haasan should speak on corruption in the film industry, instead of making “outlandish” claims. “He must either provide proof or apologise for his irresponsible blabbering,” he said, pointing out that it was minority groups who stalled the release of his film ‘Viswaroopam’ in Tamil Nadu until five scenes were censored.

First Published: Nov 02, 2017 13:50 IST