Tamil Nadu: Attack on Kamal Haasan gets personal

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His action is against Tamil and Indian culture.

Chennai: The spat between the ruling party and Kamal Haasan got very personal on Sunday when the Law minister C.Ve. Shanmugam launched an uncharacteristic attack on the legendary star by wading into his personal life. The minister called Kamal a “third rate actor” who indulges in “cheap publicity” since he has “no big offers” on the silver screen.

The minister, known for constantly speaking out of turn, also said Kamal should be booked under the Prevention of Atrocities and SC and ST Act, thus escalating the spat between the actor and the AIADMK.

“We all know that Kamal Hassan had an affair with an actress, didn’t marry her and chased her away after living with her (for years). His action is against Tamil and Indian culture. He has no right to speak about us or the people of this country,” Mr Shanmugam said while dragging into the debate the actor’s personal life.

The minister was referring to Kamal Hassan’s live-in relationship with his co-star Gautami. After being in a relationship for more than a decade, Gautami had in November last year announced that she was moving away from the legendary actor. Both Kamal and Gautami had acknowledged their relationship and were living together for 13 years. Earlier, Kamal had been in a relationship with actor Sarika, with whom he has two daughters, after having married and divorced his wife Vani Ganapathy.

Haasan a third rate actor with no films on hand: Law minister
Kamal has come under the radar of the AIADMK, especially its senior cabinet ministers, after he accused the state government of corruption and highlighted the need for changing the system.

Taking his views as an affront, municipal administration minister S.P. Velumani had warned Kamal on Saturday, of an audit of his Income-Tax payments and challenged him to prove his allegations against the government and the system.

The law minister, who spoke to reporters in Villupuram on Sunday, called Kamal “caste-biased” and referred to a comment aired on his “Bigg Boss” show that showed a particular community in poor light. “I appeal (to police) that he booked under Prevention of Atrocities against SC, ST and arrested,” Shanmugam said. “Kamal has no locus standi to criticise the government. He is a third-rate actor who does not have film opportunities now,” the minister said in his tirade against the film star.

Information minister Kadambur Raju also warned Kamal of “action” if he continued to make “baseless allegations” against the AIADMK government. “We will not keep quiet for long. When the entire film industry has appreciated the state government for announcing state film awards, Kamal Haasan is attacking the government without any basis. He will have to face the consequences if he continues to level allegations,” Raju said.

Kamal’s relationship with AIADMK had been rocky ever since the state government, led by J.Jayalalithaa then, had blocked the release of his film “Viswaroopam” after protests from Muslim groups. The actor criticised the state government’s role in the 2015 Chennai floods and had even come out against Sasikala when the AIADMK tried to catapult her to Chief Minister’s chair early this year.

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