• Actor Kamal Hasaan Thrashed for Writing Against Right-wing Hindus, Prakash Raj Backs His Views

    " On the way to silence voices of dissent, to which even actors are not spared"


    November 5, 2017


    Veteran actor, Kamal Hasaan, who has been socially and politically active and outspoken about several issues of violence against the media, was thrashed on Friday and a sedition charge has been filed against him.

    In Hasaan’s recent article in a Tamil magazine, he says that earlier Right-wing Hindus used to argue but without indulging in violence. But as their "cunningness" started to fail, they began to resort to violence. This column received a lot of flak from the Right wing, which led to a defamation case against him. Hasaan has been booked under sections 500 (Punishment for defamation), 511, 298 (hurting religious sentiment), 295-A (intend to outrage religious feelings), and 505-C (attempt to incite hatred enmity between classes) of the Indian Penal Code.

    "Extremism has spread into their camp as well," said Kamal, who is said to be preparing for a political plunge. "This extremism is not a victory or progress to those who call themselves Hindus."

    Actor-filmmaker Prakash Raj on Friday supported actor Kamal Hasaan's views on "Hindu extremists".

    "If instilling fear in the name of religion… culture… morality is not terrorizing… then what is it. Just asking," tweeted Prakash Raj, a popular name in the Kannada, Telugu and Tamil film industries.

    In an accompanying post titled "To whomsoever it may concern", Prakash Raj wrote: "If abusing and manhandling young couples on the streets of my country in the name of morality is not terrorizing… If taking law into hands and lynching people on slightest doubt of cow slaughter is not terrorizing… If trolling with abuse, threat… to silence even a slightest voice of dissent is not terrorizing… Then what is terrorizing… Just asking."

    With the series of attacks on intellectuals, journalists, actors and even movies, the case against Kamal Hasaan isn’t really a surprise. Not more than a couple of weeks back Prakash Raj, the actor-filmmaker was not only trolled online, but also had a case registered against him, for ‘voicing his opinion’, which is supposed to be a fundamental right, guaranteed by the constitution.

    Prakash Raj, has been recently voicing his opinions on the things happening in the country. After Gauri Lankesh’s murder he had said,’ “Gauri’s killers may not have been caught yet but what is more distressing is those who celebrated her death”. He was also critical of the Prime Minister’s silence on Gauri’s murder and said that it was chilling.

    This is a way to silence voices of dissent, to which even actors are not spared.

    With Kamal Hasaan plunging into politics, it is interesting to see how the whole case turns out. While, Prakash Raj standing in solidarity and voicing his opinion again on this issue is a welcome move.

    First published in Newsclick.

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