“Nothing can happen to Periyar, he is too big to be affected by all this,” said Kamal Haasan.

BJP must take action against H Raja but inaction is their character Kamal Haasan
news Statue vandalism Wednesday, March 07, 2018 - 13:54


Urging the people of Tamil Nadu not be ‘misdirected’ by the furore over the comments on the razing of Periyar’s statue, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan said the focus must be on the formation of the Cauvery Management Board.

Addressing a press conference in Chennai, the Makkal Needhi Maiam leader said, “Tamil people should not get misdirected by what is happening. We need to focus on the fact that there is no Cauvery Management Board yet. We cannot lose focus on that. Nothing can happen to Periyar, he is too big to be affected by all this. They cannot try to scuttle the issues. We need to focus on the real issues.”

Kamal Haasan’s comments come in the wake of protests in several parts of the state over BJP National Secretary H Raja’s Facebook post suggesting that after Communist icon Lenin’s statue was brought down in Tripura, the statues of Dravidian and anti-caste revolutionary EV Ramasamy – also known as Periyar -would be next.  While Raja has since taken down the post and expressed his “heartfelt regrets”, the BJP leader claimed that the Facebook post was put up by an administrator without his permission.

Calling for the BJP to take action against him, Kamal said, “BJP must take action against H Raja, that would be the decent thing to do. But inaction is their character.” He also slammed Raja for his ‘lame excuse’ stating, “I don't think he has apologised. He has expressed 'regret'. That's not an apology. I can't even accept his 'regret', how can I accept his lame excuse.” He also alleged that the controversy appeared to be a digression from a discussion that is more important for Tamil Nadu – the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board.

While the Supreme Court had in its order last month ordered the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board within six weeks, the BJP at the Centre is yet to do the same.

Kamal went on to observe, “Periyar's stature and height is beyond the reach of people who talk of vandalism” and added that he is looking for peace in Tamil Nadu and rule of law. He added, “Tamils will take care of Periyar statues. We know how to take care of Periyar.”

The MNM chief isn’t the only political leader to hit out at the BJP. While several protests are being carried out across the state over, DMK’s working President MK Stalin demanded that Raja be arrested and booked under the Goondas Act.

Hours after H Raja’s Facebook post, a Periyar statue was vandalised in Vellore district by two drunk men- one belonging to the BJP and the other to the CPI. While the two men were arrested, state BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan issued a statement expelling R Muthuraman, the party functionary involved in the vandalism. BJP National President Amit Shah also issued a warning stating that anyone involved with destroying any statue would face stern action from the party.  

In Coimbatore, several petrol bombs were hurled at the BJP office in the wee hours of Wednesday. Three TDPK activists were arrested in that incident, with police suspecting that they had participated in a protest on Tuesday over Raja’s comments on the Periyar statue.


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