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Kamal Haasan, You Could’ve at Least Tweeted for ‘Kaala’

Kamal Haasan does a ‘Pushpak’ on ‘Kaala’ during his meeting with Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy. Here’s why that’s wrong.

Published
Celebrities
5 min read
<i>Pushpak</i> is a silent film, FYI. It represents Kamal Haasan’s silence about <i>Kaala</i>’s ban in Karnataka, during his meet with the CM.
i
Kamal Haasan, Neenga Nallavara? Kettavara? (are you good or bad?)

No, I'm not Dubsmashing your dialogue from Nayagan. This is an honest question, triggered by the fact that you didn't bat for Rajinikanth's Kaala, or even mention it during your meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

I ask you this because I, and a lot of people on both sides of the the Vindhyas, tend to take you seriously – both as an actor and a budding politician. And through your silence on the ban of Kaala in Karnataka, you've failed on both counts.

Why you do this, Kamal Haasan? How come there isn't a single tweet from your overactive handle?

I know that your dialogues as Bigg Boss host are unscripted, but I'll give you a moment to come up with a valid answer, while I give a brief context to the aam aadmi. Don't tune me out like you tuned out Kaala, I'll be right back.

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Rajinikanth has grown less cat-on-the-wall about his views on issues that Tamil Nadu has had to deal with of late.
Rajinikanth has grown less cat-on-the-wall about his views on issues that Tamil Nadu has had to deal with of late.
(Photo: The Quint)

Context – aka What Happened

Rajinikanth, in an interview outside his residence on 8th April and later a tweet, urged his fans not to watch the IPL to show their solidarity and support for the Cauvery issue. He said it would be an embarrassment to enjoy the IPL at such a crucial time. Rajini also urged CSK's players to wear black bands to take the message across the country. The centre would be drawing the ire of Tamilians if the board was not set up fast.

That's all he said. I fail to see the controversy here.

Anyway, that's besides the point. Following these comments, the really boringly named Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) decided to ban Kaala's release.

Back to our ‘Universal Hero.’

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Kamal Haasan’s silence left me wondering if he has an axe to grind.
Kamal Haasan’s silence left me wondering if he has an axe to grind.
(Photo Courtesy: YouTube/Rajshri Tamil)

Did You Visit Karnataka CM as an Actor?

Padma Shri Kamal Haasan, I believe your contribution to cinema is immense. I mean, you went from a double role in Appu Raja to quadruplets in Michael Madan’s Kaama Rajan to donning 10 different face masks in Dhashavatharam! Also you were a laugh riot in Chachi 420, but I digress.

The point I'm making is that you're an actor who represents the Tamil film industry, whether you want to or not. Sneeze and half of Kollywood will rub their noses (Rajini's got the hankies for the other half). So did you visit Kumaraswamy as an actor? If you did, why didn't you speak out against the ban on Kaala?

I know you're incomparable, but then look at Prakash Raj. Despite the fact that he hates the BJP. Despite the fact that Rajinikanth is seen as ideologically similar to the BJP in the south, he spoke up for Kaala.

Bear with me while I read his quote. It's important because it'll help me carry the plot forward...

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Now, let's talk about Padmavaat. Actually, I don't need to talk about Padmavaat because you already beat me to it. You spoke out in support of the movie and in support of Deepika Padukone. Remember?

Here, I'm going to read your tweet too. Not because it furthers the plot, but because you were surprisingly CLEAR in this one!

Now, except for the spelling of ‘apposed’ (you meant opposed, right?), I concur with everything you said. So why didn’t you give ‘cerebral India’ another wake up call right up it’s noggin now? Is your Twitter alarm in snooze?

Remember Vishwaroopam?

You know, that movie that you tried to release in 2013... Arre, the one you put all your money, sweat, blood and toil into... still doesn't ring a bell? The movie that Jayalalithaa government subtly opposed, by directing District Collectors in the state to force theatre owners to ban the film? The one that both Hindu and Muslim political outfits opposed?

“I'm fed up at being played around in a dirty political game,” is what you said before you threatened to leave Tamil Nadu.

Remember? I'm sure no one knows why it’s NOT advisable to mix politics and cinema better than you!

Also, Mahesh Bhatt of all people came to your support, calling the whole thing an assault on freedom of expression.

What about Rajinikanth, you ask? For one, he was stuck in the middle of producing and working on two of his biggest flops – Kochadaiyaan and Lingaa. Doesn't exonerate him, I agree, but he's never spoken up for anyone so far. Unlike you, Mr Savior-of-Padmavaat.

Fine. I'll give you the benefit of doubt. Your friend and rival Rajinikanth went “as an actor” to Sterlite and not as a politician. So maybe to counter his move, you went as a politician? Why else would you visit the head of a state?

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Kamal Haasan (far right, but actually leaning left) meets (and greets) Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy (centre).
Kamal Haasan (far right, but actually leaning left) meets (and greets) Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy (centre).
(Photo: The Quint)

Did You Visit Kumaraswamy as a Politician?

I feel like I've known you for over 30 years. After all, I saw Appu Raja when I was five years old. So let me ask you, friend-to-friend, what gives you the authority to intercede on an issue that the Centre and the governments of two states have to resolve?

Erm... too soon? Fine, I'll accept your moral high ground and your good intentions. But it also makes me wonder if you're evading the whole cinema/movie issue because of the two movies in your own backburner – Vishwaroopam 2 and Sabhash Naidu.

Rajinikanth is currently in incognito mode in the political scene, while focusing on his salt-and-pepper avatar on screen. You at least have a party going on for you. Rajinikanth doesn't even have that. He's NOT a politician-cum-actor. He's just an actor, trying to cover his bases, get films to screens and arses to seats.

You're going to be in the same boat in a few months, if not earlier, hopefully. Don't you want Thalaiva gunning for your films on your side? If not a friend, can't you at least see him as an ally in the film industry?

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I’ve seen you portray so many complex roles, but this one baffles me. Who are you playing, man?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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