Chennai: Kamal Haasan is under attack and from all sides. Ever since he made that angry ‘corruption-in-every-department’ statement before the hungry TV cameras a couple of days back, politicians of all hues have been pounding him with choice invectives. His Big Boss show on Star Vijay too has been collecting him heavy brickbats.
Leading the attack, municipal administration minister S. P. Velumani wa-rn-ed Kamal Haasan of legal action if he did not shut up. “Was he sleeping when many things happened during the DMK rule? Why is he making sweeping accusations sans evidence? Can we probe if he has been paying taxes on his films?” the minister fumed at a crowded media interaction in Coimbatore on Saturday.
Higher education minister K.P. Anbazhagan was even more scathing, declaring that he did not even consider Kamal Haasan “a human being worth consideration”. Another cabinet colleague D. Jayakumar lamented that the actor was indulging in loose talk. “He should not speak in vague terms. He must come up with evidence”, the finance minister told media persons, who have been excited ever since the ever-forthright actor said things about corruption that everyone knew and nobody would talk.
“Ah, let him step in (to politics) and try cleaning up instead of just talking”, small-time actor Karunas dared Kamal. “Is it enough to merely condemn the system as entirely foul? He must enter the (political) field and fight”, said the pro-AIADMK legislator.
The star has got into trouble with his Big Boss show as well, with senior Dalit leaders slamming him and the programme as being insensitive towards the oppressed classes. The cheri (slum) comment made by Gayathri Raghuram on the show drew sharp reactions from VCK chief Thol. Thirumavalavan and Puthiya Tamizhagam president Dr K. Krishnaswamy.
The former said the Big Boss team, including star-anchor Kamal, “should live for ten days in among the cheri people to understand the humanness and cultural values”. The PT chief threatened agitati-on against Kamal unless he apologised. The missiles are mostly from politicians, though. The general public and most of the ‘thinking class’ are agreeing with the star’s anguish at high corruption. “I entirely agree with Kamal Haasan”, said political analyst Ravindran Duraisamy. “Besides, every citizen has a right to criticise the wrong things happening in the government”.
“There is a general perception that there is corruption everywhere and it must be curbed. When a person is trying to campaign for such solutions, he should be encouraged and helped; on the other hand, he comes under attack from vested interests who feel threatened. This is what’s happening to Kamal Haasan now”, said BJP spokesman K. T. Raghavan.
Not stopping with that, Raghavan also came up with some wise counseling for the beleaguered star, saying he should come out in robust support of Prime Minister Modi for his ongoing war against black money. “Immediately after assuming office, PM constituted SIT on black money and took several steps, including demonetisation and signing of double-taxation avoidance agreement with 50-plus countries, towards this cleaning up. His political rivals heaped harsh criticism on him”, the BJP leader pointed out.