His colour may not be saffron but actor Kamal Haasan was quick to praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet initiatives including Swachh Bharat and demonetisation. In two separate interviews to national news channels Times Now, and India Today, the actor, whose political entry is imminent, attempted to clarify his ideological position.
On PM Modi
Speaking to India Today’s Priyamvatha P, Kamal Haasan when asked about his views on PM Modi, stated, “He has tried while others only promised. That is why I went across the party lines, when some of my friends who knew about my ideologies asked why did you say nice things about him. Swachh Bharat is a good idea. Demonetisation is a good idea. I am not an economist. But now there is criticism about it. Let’s see till proven guilty we will not jump to conclusions.”
Hours after Kamal Haasan's interview, Rajinikanth who had not tweeted since September 1, extended support to the Prime Minister'sSwachhata Hi Seva mission.
Kamal on saffron
Kamal, who recently stated that his colour is not saffron, changed his position pointing out, “This is my colour – black. And it includes all colours including saffron.”
In an interview to Times Now’s Rahul Shivshankar, the actor stated that he is a rationalist but was willing to shake hands with other ideologies. “I am willing to talk to even the saffron clad people, if they are in power to help my people. I will talk but doesn’t mean I will change my ideology,” he said.
Acknowledging that actor Rajinikanth and him had different ideologies, he, however, added that he had informed the actor of his decision to take the political plunge. Kamal said, “We are not necessarily on the same page. I told him I was going in, as a friend.”
But the star emphasised that if Rajini takes the political plunge as well, the two would aim to set an example on the political field. “We said we will keep decency. We won’t take personal pot shots. We want to set an example. I wouldn’t take personal pot shots. I have not mentioned any names. I have kept a decent limit, ethical limit.”
In his interview to India Today, when asked if he was willing to join hands with the superstar, Kamal said, “If he need be. If he is willing. I am going to be making certain rules for the party. For those who are interested in that set of rules… manifesto as it reads are open, are welcome.”
On cow vigilantism, hate mongering and achhe din
When the star was quizzed by Times Now on his position on cow vigilantism, he noted, “I am more for people rakshak. I don’t think that matters. We need to be kind to cows, dogs, they are all holy to me. I understand man better.”
On being pressed on issues such as hate mongering, Kamal said, “Any party which goes about mongering, or itching for a fight isn’t the right way to go.” But he added that while it disappoints him that many have not heeded the Prime Minister’s warnings on hate mongering, people should give Modi time.
While acknowledging that the Prime Minister has been able to deliver on his ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’ slogan, Ulaganayagan also noted that there was a contrary view to whether ‘Achhe’ din had arrived. “There is a view contrary to that (achhe din). I believe economists when they say that. There is talk of petrol. I think they should address the taxes – both states and the Centre. it affects the common man.”
On Kejriwal and corruption charges
With Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visiting Kamal Haasan at his residence in Chennai on Thursday, the actor noted that it was a part of his education tour. When asked what his opinion on Kejriwal is, Kamal stated, “He has said something and done something. It is not too contrary to what he has promised. It is not easy to deliver.” On being pressed about corruption allegations in Kejriwal’s government and the AAP leader turning a blind eye, Kamal noted, “ I think Kejriwal is clean. I believe so.”
On Rahul Gandhi
The actor was also quick to take a swipe at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who had hit out at the BJP-led Union Government for muzzling freedom of expression. “I don’t know the year he was born. I have been under greater oppression and that was the Emergency. I don’t want something similar or closer to that. That is our trepidation,” said Kamal. He, however, noted that tolerance towards criticism is “almost null and void” with all parties quick to take umbrage.
When asked if he was willing to join hands with Rahul Gandhi or the Congress, Kamal wondered if the Congress VP was people’s centric, arguing, “If he had, people would have supported him.”
On announcing political entry
While Kamal Haasan refused to commit on the name of party, he promised, “I will be there in the next election” and added that he was looking at entering politics in 100 days.
“I am not delaying my destiny. I am waiting for the moment. I am prepping because I know that there are people who are keen to advice. All advice cannot be accepted,” he said of his recent meetings with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal.
The star also hit out at the Edappadi Palaniswami-led Tamil Nadu government. “I have a feeling this is a forced marriage- the bride wants out. That’ s the people. You can’t force it,” Kamal said.