The actor also said it was time we understood that the world can only function as a family or not at all

Kamal takes a dig at the Church says it takes 300-400 years for them to apologize
Flix Kollywood Friday, April 22, 2016 - 16:02

Kamal Haasan, delivering the Rev Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Lecture at the Women's Christian College, laid out a history of violence, and talked about nonviolence almost as an evolutionary imperative. Along the way, he took digs at the Church, for taking 300 or 400 years to apologise to people killed or ostracized in the name of religion, praised America for crossing the racial divide and electing a black President, and criticised countries for failing to give up on war. He also urged people towards acceptance of others than tolerance, calling tolerance a “compromised middle ground”. Here are extracts from his speech.

"300 or 400 years is the average time the church takes to say sorry"

"Some evolutionary scientists insist that human mind is still a work in progress. I had once wanted to contest that belief and wax eloquent about the achievements of human mind. The pyramids, the poetry, the mathematics and the sciences that made us fly; live better and longer by waging war with pestilence and even vanquishing some.

Things which were only god’s domain and his will to execute is now every government's commitment to the populace that elect them to office. How can these scientists dare say that human mind is work in progress as if it is incomplete?”

“The ascent of man from being a parochial self-serving cannibal and then to becoming an agriculturist on top of the food chain, and then on to become the guardian of all species and the world is a responsibility taught to him by many reformers like Gandhi and Rev Martin Luther King Jr who did it at their own peril.  While I pause to gather more words of praise of the human mind, I realize this logical progression has taken too long to happen. 

A thought shatters my dream, my epiphany that all is well with the human mind. I have only picked moments of zenith, very far and few over the eons, as compared to the moments of Nadir, where we believe benevolence and cognizance we claim we had.

We have, on many occasions, callously, carelessly killed reformers with collective consent like the Romans, who practiced genocide in the name of sports for centuries in their circus Maximus. We then, with the same collective consent, chose to say sorry for the bloody deeds when all the perpetrators of those crimes lived and died peaceful deaths.

If we did not kill reformers or voices of reason then we at least tried to ostracize them. If they lived long enough to hear the Church or the government say sorry that was fine or else we said it posthumously sometimes 300, 400 years later. That is the average time the church takes to say sorry.

Governments are a tad faster with their apologies. With no thanks for those belated gestures. I go back to those scientists who believe that the human mind is still an evolutionary work in progress. I have to grudgingly concur with their logic." 

"War is a very old fashioned way to settle any difference "

"While most reformers say all men are equal, inequality is created by incomplete minds that somehow manage to reach the seat of power while the enlightened minds are always with the poor and the minority called the wise. America has an African American President. Is that not a dream? A dream a mind dared to dream in the sixties. I saw on TV, a black governor of America standing amidst the dignitaries, shedding tears when Mr Obama was sworn in as the president of America. I had tears of empathy too. Having broken the shackles of a different kind of slavery in the recent history, I could empathize.”

“The same country which does me proud does not yet believe that war is outdated. In the name of Mr Mohandas K Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela, I choose this moment to remind the few cognizant minds here that war is a very old fashioned way to settle any difference.

This, as the son of Gandhi and Martin Luther king Jr, I am bound to voice at a moment when Japan is thinking of rebuilding an army. There was a time when we dreamed. Now I aspire for wakefulness even in a dream.

An Indian master, a smart-thinker, and a sage called Adhi Shankara, centuries before, spoke of such wakefulness “Jagrat Swapna”. To be awake in a dream.While one dream has been realized it is another day now and another dark night will be upon us.

Back to the dreamscape my friends. We have to dare to dream more dreams to achieve.  Where brothers and sisters of all faith unite. Instead of fighting for God's sake, please unite for the sake of humans."

"Tolerance is a compromised middle ground"

"How simple it is to see that the world has to live in harmony in cooperation. Then why don't those who wield the office or the gun seem to understand.

I hope you agree with me that with there is proof available in history that human mind is indeed work in progress.  We cannot wait a million years more for its completion. I know Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. are great men, but it is time we produced more men and women like them. 

I am poised over a fertile field to sow the seed for such will to surface in people like you. You can become that if you set your mind to it. It is not impossible. It is possible to those who have the tenacity of purpose. It is possible when you attain the valor.

Fearlessness strangely accompanies love and Ahimsa. Well I have dared to say the word Ahimsa. It is a complicated process when it comes to practice. Do not confuse it to be tolerance. Tolerance is a compromised middle ground. A status quo ante. Acceptance is closer to non-violence which in truth is Ahimsa.

In memory of Martin Luther King Jr, I can say so many good words but using his life as philosophy, as fulcrum, we should lift the weight and greed, pressing and oppressing the ascent of our race. I use this opportunity to remind you that all the great men who lived and died for us believed that the coming generation will better them.

What have you done about that? What have we done about that?  Let us use this dialogue to find that leading spirit in us. I promise you what you admire most you can find within yourself maybe in some it might be hidden under layers of prejudice. Cast it aside and surprise yourself with what you discover.

While we celebrate and try to emulate those who have changed the way world thinks, we must understand as they clearly understood that this world could only function as a family or not at all.”

(Content provided by Digital Native)


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