Tamil Nadu

CAA: Will not rest until the anti-people Modi government is removed, says Kamal Haasan

A file photograph of actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan

A file photograph of actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan   | Photo Credit: L. Balachandar

The Makkal Needhi Maiam founder also strongly condemned the AIADMK’s support for the Citizenship Amendment Act

Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan on Tuesday said that he will not rest until he ensures the removal of the Narendra Modi-led Central government for passing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that discriminates against illegal Muslim immigrants alone from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Reading out from a prepared statement at his party office in Chennai, Mr. Haasan said: “It is a democracy only when power rests with the people. I will not rest until this anti-people Government is removed. None of us should rest.”

Strongly condemning the AIADMK’s support for the CAA in the parliament, he said, “They have betrayed the interests of the Tamil people and the nation. They are obedient to their masters. You know who their masters are.”

He alleged that the Central government was dividing people on the basis of identity by telling them sweet lies that a ‘new India’ will be born. “They have even brought in an amendment. The consequences of these actions lie in the pages of history’s darkest periods,” he said.

Raising a question as to why Sri Lankan Hindu refugees were not included in the Act when a Pakistani Hindu has been included, he said, “The Central government’s action in New Delhi, Aligarh and Assam is nothing but their inability to answer those who are questioning the government. Instead, they are squeezing their windpipes.” He said that “every blow on the student community is a blow on the Freedom of Speech and Expression guaranteed by democracy”.

According to Mr. Haasan, this issue transcends caste, political parties and even State borders. It concerns the entire nation. The actor-turned-politician said that his party would be on the ground protesting against the National Register of Citizens when it was implemented. “We will go (against it) as far as possible,” he said.

Condemning violence on the student community in New Delhi, Mr. Haasan said that students must get involved in politics and raise their voice. “It is so unfortunate that those in power, when they were young, have done exactly the same thing. The young will have to be politically aware and be politicians. There is nothing wrong with it. Politics is omnipresent in their life and it affects them – they must understand it, question it and must take cognisance of it. They must ask those questions. When these questions are stifled, it means democracy is in ICU.”

Alleging that the Modi government has not taken measures to address the issues of farmer suicides, hike in prices of essential commodities such as petrol and violence against women, he said, “Dividing the people on religious lines is the Central government’s conspiracy against people. When petrol was selling at Rs. 70/ litre, Narendra Modi strongly stated that his State of Gujarat stands to lose several crores. Now, petrol sells at Rs. 78,” he said.

“Economy has gone backwards, price of essential commodities have skyrocketed….such being the case, what is the hurry in bringing this amendment to Citizenship Act,” he asked.

Mr Haasan dismissed Home Minister Amit Shah’s assurances that the CAA will not affect India’s minorities and is only against illegal immigrants. “We cannot dismiss the fact that this CAA is a first step towards realising their dream of a Hindu Rashtra,” he said.

Asked why he thought many popular actors across the country – in Bollywood and Tamil cinema – have not spoken against the CAA, he said, “It is not that they are not willing, they are concerned. They (BJP) have spread the fear and most voices have been stifled. The precedents – such as the Thoothukudi police firing incidents – make them worried.” He added that he believes his friend and actor Rajinikanth will react to the latest developments.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 12:28:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/caa-will-not-rest-until-the-anti-people-modi-government-is-removed-says-kamal-haasan/article30328937.ece

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