Actor Kamal Haasan and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who in the last two years, have written several letters of appreciation to each other, will sit down for a lunch meeting on Friday.

Kamal Haasan to meet Kerala CM Just lunch or is there more on the menu
news Politics Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 15:43

Both rationalists, both staunch supporters of free food choices, both against the politics of religion -- one a prominent politician, another waiting to take the plunge.

Actor Kamal Haasan and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who in the last two years, have written several letters of appreciation to each other, will sit down for a lunch meeting on Friday.

The actor who will be in Kerala’s capital city Thiruvananthapuram for an interview with a TV channel will call on the Chief Minister at his ‘Cliff House’ residence in the city.

The Chief Minister's office said that the visit is a friendly one. "The actor will meet the Chief Minister for a friendly talk. It's purely a friendly visit," the Chief Minister's office told TNM.

Kamal Haasan has always been vocal about his love for Kerala and admiration for Pinarayi.

In 2016, Pinarayi wrote a letter to the actor after he was chosen for the Chevalier Award. “You have been chosen for the prestigious Chevalier Award for placing the Indian cinema on the top of world films through your multi-faceted personality.”

And in reply, Kamal said, “Thank you very much for your kind words on my Chevalier award. Someone remarked, "How nice of another state's head to lavish you with praise. I interjected, "He is not another state’s CM. He is my state's CM. Ask any film-going Malayalee which state I belong to."

Kamal’s first independent film as lead actor was Kanyakumari, a Malayalam film which won him his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor. He appeared in many more Malayalam films through the seventies and eighties.

Kamal had also lauded Pinarayi Vijayan and his government on the ministry's first anniversary. The actor sent his wishes through email, congratulating the government and its good governance on the anniversary which was celebrated in May 2017. "I am happy to celebrate one year of good governance along with the people of Kerala. Wish and hope Kerala sets an example for the neighboring states to follow in many more fields," he had said.

Kamal Haasan, who is known to be a rationalist and has frequently avowed that he's an atheist on public platforms, leans towards Left ideology a lot more than the Right. Although the actor has not supported any political party thus far, his views tend to be aligned to the Left.

He has repeatedly said that he believes the caste system to be evil and that he does not practice any religion or caste. Further, he has irked Hindutva forces by openly questioning the glorification of the Mahabharatha.

During discussions on the new rules for cattle slaughter, popularly referred to as 'beef ban', Kamal did not mince any words. He said that the government should focus on giving people food instead of a menu card.

"If you don't like beef, then don't eat," he'd said bluntly.

The Kerala government headed by Pinarayi, too, has been steadfast in its opposition to cow politics.

The actor, who has been criticising the AIADMK government in power in Tamil Nadu, has frequently tweeted about corruption in the state and called for a new government. In July, Kamal had tweeted that "one who attempts to avoid fanaticism/superstition is a leader".

When he was asked why he was suddenly showing interest in politics, Kamal shot back to his detractors in the AIADMK thus: "I became a politician the moment I raised my voice against Hindi imposition."

With his firm distancing from religion and the politics of religion, Kamal’s affinities clearly lie towards the Left. Interestingly, in his 2003 film Anbe Sivam (Love is God), for which he wrote the story and screenplay, he played a communist and an atheist. Though the film did not do well at the box-office, it has attained a cult status among people over the years.

Kamal has enjoyed a good relationship with previous LDF governments in Kerala, too. When the actor completed 50 years in his career, CPI (M) veteran VS Achuthanandan, the then Chief Minister, honoured him at a function held in connection with the state tourism week celebrations of 2010. 

Kamal, who has been hinting at his entry into politics for some time now, said at a wedding on Wednesday that people should not consider it as just a wedding function but as an inauguration function for politics as well.

On the same day, Kamal had also asked his fans to be ready to march towards the St George Fort area in Chennai where both the Tamil Nadu Assembly and Secretariat are located.

Kamal has held his cards close to his chest so far. A month ago, Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami had asked him if he was a communist. And his response was: “No, I am mistaken by, what do you call, the deep Tamil groups. I am mistaken to be a Communist by Hindutva groups. The truth is I am a rationalist. I am willing to accept any good ideas coming from either side as long as it works along with the world logic.”

Whether Friday’s meeting is just a friendly namaskaram as it is being projected or if there’s more meat to it is anyone’s guess.