It was the clash of titans in Tamil Nadu on Thursday as superstars Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth attended a 75th anniversary of DMK mouthpiece, Tamil daily Murasoli in Chennai. While Rajinikanth chose to sit in the audience, Kamal Haasan took to the dais and spoke at length.
Haasan, who has of late been critical of the AIADMK government, was seated on the dais next to DMK working president MK Stalin. Rajinikanth, who has given signs that he may enter politics, was seated along with other dignitaries.
In what is being read as a veiled attack on long-time friend and colleague Rajinikanth, Kamal said that self-respect matters most and not self-defence, reports New Indian Express.
“Self-respect, not self-defence, matters most,” he said.
Explaining why he chose to speak at the function as Rajinikanth chose to be seated among the audience, Kamal said: “When I asked whether my friend Rajini would come to the event, they replied in the affirmative but noted that he would remain a spectator; I said I too wanted to be a spectator without taking the dais. Then I stood before a mirror and saw my image. I thought to myself, ‘hey fool! What an important function is this! What an opportunity you are going to fritter’.”
He dismissed any talk of him joining the DMK. Explaining his stance, he said: “I received a telegram from him (M Karunanidhi) in 1983 asking me why I shouldn’t join the DMK. I folded it and kept with me,” he recollected and added that the DMK patriarch hadn’t ever talked about it since then. “Till now, I haven’t responded to it either,” Kamal said.
Kamal added that the DMK chief did not ask him about it again due to his “magnanimity”.
For a while now, Kamal has been mounting a scathing attack on the ruling AIADMK government, accusing several departments of rampant corruption.
On the question of relevance of Dravidian culture, the Tamil megastar said it is pan-Indian and would continue to exist till the word ‘Dravida’ exists in India’s National Anthem. He said: “Many are predicting that Dravidian culture would vanish. But Dravidam (Dravidian culture) would continue to exist till the word Dravida exists in the National Anthem.”
He said Dravidian culture is actually a pan-Indian culture that spread from the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Kamal further said he did not want to miss an opportunity to sit along with editors of various dailies and magazines and hence decided to accept to participate in Thursday’s function. The function was attended by editors of various dailies and magazines and cine stars.