Superstar Kamal Haasan has found himself in the cross hairs of a fringe group in Tamil Nadu, reportedly due to his role as host of the reality show Bigg Boss Tamil.
Kamal Haasan on the sets of Bigg Boss Tamil. Screengrab
This is the first-ever season of Bigg Boss Tamil, which was launched on 25 June 2017 on the Star Vijay channel.
As per a Times Now report telecast on 11 July 2017, the fringe group — which goes under the moniker Hindu Makkal Katchi — has asked for Haasan's arrest on the grounds of 'tarnishing Tamil culture' by hosting a show like Bigg Boss.
Veeramaanickam Siva, the secretary of Hindu Makkal Katchi, has filed a complaint against the makers of the show and Kamal Haasan with the Commissioner of Police, Chennai.
"People of India are paragons of virtue. Indian television channels, nowadays, are acting in a way to wreck the Indian culture. The Bigg Boss program in Vijay TV overthrows every other show on television in tarnishing the Indian culture and Tamil traditions. People who don't know each other wearing slinky clothes and using crass language erode our social values and are a threat to our culture. We are in the times where television is accessible from kids to elders, and these kind of programs are a menace to our society. Even the respectable Tamil anthem was subjected to disgrace in the show and contestants made a mockery of it. This has deeply hurt the sentiments of 7 crore Tamilians. The host Kamal Hassan and the participants Namitha, Oviya, Gayathri Raguran, Julie, Raiza, Haarathi, Vayyapuri, Shakthi, Ganja Karuppu, Aarav, Snehan, Bharani, Ganesh Venkatraaman should be arrested immediately and I seek legal action from the police department. The reality show should be immediately banned to save the Tamil culture and values," read the letter addressed to the police commissioner.
Haasan has been a vocal opponent of the 30 percent local tax imposed by the Tamil Nadu government on the state's film industry over and above the newly implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST). He hit back and promptly responded to the accusations in his interview to the news channel Republic sometime back.
"I don't mind being arrested. It would make a point in proving how silly these accusations are. Why didn't they call for a ban on cheerleaders dancing in the stadium during a cricket match?" said Haasan.
Asked about why he's being targeted by the fringe groups time and again, he said, "I'm mistaken to be a Communist by Hindutva groups. The truth is I'm a rationalist. I am willing to accept any good ideas coming from either side as long as it works along with the world logic."
When he had taken on the anchor's gig for Bigg Boss Tamil, the actor had said, "Bigg Boss is a social experiment. That's the reason I came on board", further quoting Tamil philosopher Kaniyan Poongundranaar's famous saying: "To us, all towns are one, all men our kin" as the crux of the show's concept.
It was just in March this year that the HMK had targeted Haasan, ostensibly for making 'derogatory' remarks about the Mahabharata. The right-wing group had then filed a PIL against the actor.