Kamal Haasan is never afraid to speak his mind. His recent statement on the Mahabharat on a Tamil news channel, where he stated that a scripture that speaks of a woman (Draupadi) being gambled away is honoured by India, has incurred the wrath of a Hindu outfit.
But Kamal knows what he was talking about. “I said we’re stuck in the chapter of Mahabharat describing the gambling. We venerate the worst part in even the best books. In a similar vein, I have said many good things in my interview about both Hindus and Muslims. To a question ‘Do you dislike Brahmins?’ I said I can’t possibly as my mother and father and most of my family are Brahmins. It is like asking do you dislike humans? No, I can’t live without them, even my religious friends. I take all criticism about my rationalism from them with humour. I would suggest they do too. If I were to believe in the stories of the of the gods, then the gods do not need mortals to defend them, do they?”
Tongue-in-cheek the veteran actor adds, “For God’s sake, let’s stop fighting. There are so many imminent things to fight about. I love reading all the mythological stories. I was brought up on them. Let’s not lose our sense of humour and compassion. There is a point of exasperation with tolerance. With acceptance, begins dialogue and, sometimes, banter too.”
The fearless artiste feels that it’s time for Indians to go beyond just nitpicking. He adds, “Wake up, India. Jai Ramji ki, Jai Jesus ki, Jai Darwin ki, Jai Musalmaan ki, Jai human ki and oh, Jai Hanuman ki too! Come on, guys. We got to go one step further than even ‘Make in India.’ Let’s make India itself — India 2.0, the updated version. If it’s not too late already....