MADIKERI: Actor-activist, Prakash Rai was in Madikeri On Sunday addressing a press conference, speaking on the birth of his twitter movement #JustAsking. “I feel that I am leading a meaningful life now. I am not here as a politician appeasing the voters, but I am here as a social activist talking to citizens and building awareness on what they should do to change the current system,” he said. Casting light on how he came into becoming an activist who raised questions against the government, he said, “It was disturbing to see how PM Narendra Modi’s followers celebrated the death of journalist Gauri Lankesh. My movement on Twitter began by questioning his fascist government on how a PM could allow such celebrations.”
He clarified that he was not building his public figure to get into politics, but is trying to gather citizens to become a participatory democracy. “There were like-minded activists like Kuvempu, Lankesh, Tejaswi and Siddalingaiah who were vocal about their stands and I am here to continue that era.
I am not against Hinduism nor am I a communist. I am a democratic who is looking towards promoting participatory democracy among citizens,” he clarified. He opined that India is being divided by caste and communal politics, which needs immediate stopping. “People should find peace through religion, not inculcate hatred fighting for it,” he said.
While his current fight might be against BJP, Rai said: “I had nothing against Vajpayee-led BJP. But today, BJP is dragging religion into politics; it is becoming an authoritarian government in a democratic country and my right to freedom of speech allows me to question these acts.”
On his vision of #JustAsking movement, he said, “I will start literary fests across various colleges in the state and see that each one becomes politically aware. This movement will have voices asking questions from all over the state and each of us under the movement will fight unitedly.”
Addressing the various issues in Kodagu including the uncontrolled tourism, increasing human-animal conflict, problems of coffee growers and deforestation, he voiced, “People’s representatives are ignoring all these issues and are instead involved in dividing the people on the basis of religion. I will voice out against such government, irrespective of political party.” He said that in two months time, he will reveal the facts about River Cauvery conflict to the people and concluded, “There is one Rakshasa who is in power now and he needs to be tackled first. Then I will voice against the petty players in this game of communal politics.”