Tamil superstars Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth are not on the same page over social and political issues.
Tamil superstars Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth are not on the same page over social and political issues. The actors are recent entrants to Tamil Nadu politics but espouse views that are often radically different from each other.
Both Rajinikanth and Haasan shared similar views on the Cauvery water issue. In April, Rajinikanth had protested against the delay over the setting up of the Supreme Court-directed Cauvery Management Board. Rajinikanth was joined by Haasan, who recently floated his political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), and other Tamil actors.
Rajinikanth then slammed the organisation of IPL matches in Chennai when the state was on the boil over the Cauvery issue. Terming it an “embarrassment”, Rajini had demanded that people and players should be allowed to wear black bands during the match as a mark of their protest. As the chorus over Cauvery issue became louder, IPL matches were eventually shifted out of Chennai.
In the same month, Haasan had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver justice to Tamil people in the Cauvery matter. “You can easily deliver the justice that Tamil Nadu is asking for, seeking,” Haasan was quoted as saying by IANS.
“All sections of people of Tamizh Nadu have started to believe that this delay is due to ensuing elections in Karnataka and your party’s interest in it. Sir, it is your duty as the Prime Minister to prove this wrong by immediately acting as per the Supreme Court order,” Haasan added.
The actors are, however, on a different page over the anti-Sterlite protests that led to the death of many local people in Tuticorin recently. When Rajinikanth visited the injured victims on May 31, he took many by surprise when he blamed infiltration of anti-social elements in the anti-Sterlite protests for the death of 13 people in police firing. Warning that Tamil Nadu will become a “graveyard” if there were too many agitations, the actor demanded a Jayalalithaa-style “iron-fist” policy to take on the anti-social elements.
“The attack on the Collector’s office and setting on fire (Sterlite) quarters was not done by the common people. Some anti-social elements infiltrated (the protesting locals). It is their handiwork,” PTI quoted Rajinikanth as saying.
“The government should crush such anti-social elements with an iron fist. On that front I laud Jayalalithaa as she kept such persons under check with an iron fist. They should follow her policy and keep them under check, as otherwise, it will result in great danger for Tamil Nadu,” he added.
Kamal Haasan, however, doesn’t agree with Rajinikanth. On Sunday before leaving for Karnataka for a meeting with the state’s newly-appointed CM HD Kumaraswamy over the Cauvery issue, Haasan told reporters that his views on protests differed from those of Rajinikanth.
Haasan denied there were anti-social elements involved in Titicorin violence. “As far I’m concerned, that’s not the case,” he said, adding, if the protestors were anti-social elements then he is also the one. “If (we) see it that way (Rajinikanth’s way), that’s what I am too (anti-social).”
Commenting on Rajinikanth’s view on Tuticorin violence, Haasan said “That’s his opinion…mine is different.”
The MNM leader said he is a student of Mahatma Gandhi and there must be a character in protests but they should neither wane nor stop.
While Rajinikanth talks about controlling the “anti-social” elements in protests, Haasan said though protests are not about fighting with weapons but when guns are brought out, people should have the character to face them with an open heart.
Haasan asserted protests are a “good path”.