Political leaders in the State condemned actor Rajinikanth's statement in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on Wednesday.
DMK president M.K. Stalin said there was nothing new in the allegation that political parties were instigating students to protest, since the same allegation was made during the anti-Hindi agitation.
“Just like the anti-Hindi agitation was a success, the present agitation will also prevail,” he tweeted.
Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram expressed disappointment over the actor’s remarks. “If he had asked me, I would have explained to him why the CAA is discriminatory and violates Article 14 of the Constitution,” he tweeted.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri said the actor had become a puppet in the hands of the ruling BJP at the Centre. "I would like to warn you that till now, you have been talking about issues after being advised by some people. If this continues, it will be your downfall,” Mr. Alagiri said, addressing the actor. He said the actor should compare the most recent amendment to the citizenship law with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 1955 before commenting on the issue. “You are an expert in speaking dialogues written by others in cinema. But in politics, you have to ask yourself if you have understood what others have written for you,” he said.
The Congress leader said CAA, NPR and NRC were interlinked and had the same agenda. “If this comes into force, 17 crore Muslims, three crore Christians and even 83 crore Hindus will be affected. In Assam, 19 lakh citizens were declared as foreigners. Does Mr. Rajinikanth know that Muslims and Hindus were part of this list? Does he want detention centres to be set up across the country, like in Assam?” he asked. “It is clear that Mr. Rajinikanth has decided to carry out the BJP’s communal agenda in Tamil Nadu, and his so-called spiritual politics has now been exposed,” Mr. Alagiri said.
‘Don’t twist facts’
CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan said the Constitution very clearly laid out that citizens cannot be discriminated against on the basis of religion. He said Mr. Rajinikanth must first understand that the Census and the National Population Register were different things. “He has become a puppet in the hands of the BJP and is supporting the BJP. Let him support them, but he should not twist facts,” he added.
He alleged that Mr. Rajinikanth’s voice was that of the RSS and the BJP, and there was nothing new in the view he had expressed on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
On Mr. Rajinikanth’s statement that he would be the first to raise his voice if Indian Muslims were to be affected by the CAA, Mr. Balakrishnan said, ”Where was his voice when Mohammed Akhlaq and other Muslims were lynched (by cow vigilantes), allegedly for carrying beef? Did he raise his voice for the Muslims of Gujarat?”
MLA and founder of the Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi M. Thamimun Ansari said, “At a time when there are controversies over his tax payments, he’s trying to divert people’s attention by supporting the BJP. Will Mr. Rajinikanth be able to produce the documents of his forefathers? Does he have them? People are protesting of their own accord. It is condemnable that Mr. Rajinikanth has said political parties are instigating people to protest.”
BJP national general secretary H. Raja said Mr. Rajinikanth was right on CAA. “He has understood the issue fully and has spoken the facts,” he said.