Tamil Nadu

I quit CPI(M) 20 years ago: Bharathi Krishnakumar

Well-known Left-leaning writer and documentary film-maker Bharathi Krishnakumar, who has drawn the ire of comrades for having joined actor Kamal Haasan as one of the key members of his political party Makkal Needhi Maiam, has defended his decision.

He is under severe attack from his former comrades at the CPI(M) and the Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association for joining a party floated by a film star.

Many took to social media to troll him, and a few called him a “sleeper cell” of the CPI(M).

However, the writer told The Hindu that he was a member of the CPI(M) two decades ago when he was a bank employee and was actively involved in union affairs. “It is almost 20 years since I quit the party. As far as the writers’ association is concerned, I have never held any post and was a special invitee to their meetings. Some of the leaders of the party have actually congratulated me on my decision to work with Mr. Kamal Haasan,” he said. Mr. Krishnakumar was on stage on Wednesday, conducting the proceedings of the launch event of the new party.

Asked whether a person wedded to the ideology of Communism could be comfortable with a person who enjoyed superstar status and the party that would revolve around him, Mr. Krishnakumar said Indian politics since the days of Mahatma Gandhi had been dominated by charismatic leaders.

“Mr. Haasan and I have mutual understanding,” he said.

On film stars in politics

He justified the entry of film stars in politics, saying that at one point politics was dominated only by lawyers.

Mr. Krishnakumar, whose fiery speeches on Subramania Bharathi earned him the prefix ‘Bharathi,’ said his friendship with Mr. Haasan went back to the days when he released Ramaiyavin Kudisai, a film on the massacre of Dalits in Keezhvenmani. “He addressed the gathering as comrades. I kept the ashes of those who were burnt to death and he said it was holier than holy ash,” said Mr. Krishnakumar, who has also produced a documentary on the atrocities against the tribals of Vachathi in Dharmapuri.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 5:43:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/i-quit-cpim-20-years-ago/article22840176.ece

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