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Kamal Haasan bats for unity among southern states under ‘Dravidian’ identity to take on Centre

The actor says “Dravidam,” (a word meaning South India) was not Tamil Nadu specific but pan-India having facets of history, anthropology and archaeology.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2018 20:54 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Chennai
Kamal Haasan,Dravidian,southern states
Actor Kamal Haasan at the launch of Kizhakku Africavil Raju in Chennai on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Top actor Kamal Haasan, who is set to embark on a political tour of Tamil Nadu next month, Thursday batted for unity among Southern states under the “Dravidian” tag to leverage ties with the Centre.

“It is our identity, and it will give the southern states a leverage with the Centre,” the actor said.

Writing in his weekly column in a Tamil magazine, “Ananda Vikatan,” he said the chief ministers of all southern states --Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh-- were ‘Dravidians,’ and there was no need to stake claim that only Tamilian was ‘Dravidian.’

When the Dravidian identity is “celebrated,” across South India, it will lead to a united “chorus,” that will reach New Delhi, he said.

“When this thought gains roots, it will add up to our strength,” Haasan said.

The actor also said “Dravidam,” (a word meaning South India) was not Tamil Nadu specific but pan-India having facets of history, anthropology and archaeology.

“I can show you a man in Bihar with your resemblance. The reason for that is, Dravidam is coming from there. There is no reason to destroy it due to it,” he said in the article.

The actor, however, did not explain the whether he was referring to ‘Dravidian,’ in a racial, linguistic, geographical sense or as a political call for mobilisation.

The DMK, the main opposition party in the state, had initially heavily relied on the ‘Dravidian theme.’

He also hit out at the Centre over what he claimed apportionment of tax revenue among states.

The actor said Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu stood first and second respectively in terms of “tax collection.”

“Some are saying that tax collected from here is being distributed for development of North India..a joint family will be only like that.”

The 63-year-old actor said it is the practice of an elder brother to distribute his earnings to his unemployed younger siblings which should not be faulted.

“However, since the elder brother is giving, he should not be regarded as gullible and he must not be allowed to starve,” he said.

The actor, however, did not clarify what kind of tax collection he was talking about, whether direct or indirect.

He also did not say for which fiscal Tamil Nadu stood second in tax collection or which government/independent agency he was relying for his tax related and apportionment claims.

He said he had a feel that of late, the “apportionment” (indicating tax revenue) was not happening properly.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 20:43 IST