When Hindus from Pakistan get citizenship, why not Hindus from Sri Lanka? asks Kamal Haasan

WION Web Team New Delhi Dec 17, 2019, 02.37 PM(IST) Written By: Sidharth MP

File photo of actor-politician Kamal Haasan. Photograph:( PTI )

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On the silence of various top personalities from the cinema industry that Haasan himself has contributed to for over 60 years, he said, “Most voices have been stifled and they have spread the fear.”

A day after his party Makkal Needhi Maiam released a statement that they had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court against the Citizenship amendment Act 2019, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan slammed the Centre and Tamil Nadu’s state government for having passed the bill. 

Speaking to reporters at the MNM party office in Chennai, he said, “India’s backbones are its villages and our farmers are dying, there is a slowdown in the economy and prices of essential commodities are rising but the government’s ploy is to divide based on religion. This is the beginning of the end of anti-national forces”(He used the phrase anti-national force without mentioning any party specifically and said that he meant to include all anti-nationals).

Haasan was also unsparing in his criticism of Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK, whose 11 Members of the Upper House Parliament had voted in favour of the bill, thus enabling its smooth passage. “Its a betrayal of the Tamil people and India. They(the state government) are only obedient to their masters and you know who their masters are.”

“When a Hindu from Pakistan is to get citizenship, what about Hindu’s from Sri Lanka? What answer do we have for Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamil refugees?”  

Responding to questions on the pan-India protests by college students and the police action, ensuing violence, Haasan said, “it's so unfortunate that those in power did exactly the same thing many years back(student protests). The young will have to be politically aware, politics is omnipresent in students lives and students must understand, raise questions. When questions are stifled democracy is in danger.” 

On the silence of various top personalities from the cinema industry that Haasan himself has contributed to for over 60 years, he said, “Most voices have been stifled and they have spread the fear.”

He also added that his party’s course of action against the CAA would be in the “right way and right direction” and that their fight would be towards a legal solution. 

Haasan also added that he had been trying to get in touch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi by sending him a letter and also a video, but that he hasn’t been able to meet him. 

“He seems to be busy”, Haasan said. 

The newly introduced CAA law aims to make it easy for non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh to gain Indian citizenship. The law is being criticized for discriminating on grounds of religion and violating Article 14 of the Constitution. questions are also being raised about the hurried passage of the act when the economy is not in good shape.