CHENNAI: Continuing to stoke the political fire in the State, noted film-maker Kamal Haasan on Thursday sought to send a message in a veiled attack on his longtime friend in film field superstar Rajinikanth, saying that self-respect matters most and not self-defence.
Addressing a felicitation function marking the platinum jubilee celebrations of DMK mouthpiece Murasoli here, amid clapping he said, “Self-respect, not self-defence, matters most.”
Rajinikanth, who nurtures dreams of taking a plunge into politics, was present at the event patiently listening to Kamal’s speech.
“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’,” Kamal Haasan said.
Dismissing the talk of himself joining the DMK, the film-maker recalled that had he thought of joining the party, he would have done it in 1983.
“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.
Issuing a strong warning against those talking about the end of Dravidianism, he said that it would hang on till the word ‘Dravida’ continued to exist in the national anthem.
Not only this hall but the entire nation should remember it, he said, and added what I meant to say was not the ‘count of votes’ but the ‘force of the people’.
He sounded hard in attacking the detractors of Dravidian ideology and affirmed that Dravidianism that was pushed from the Indus Valley civilisation is a pan-Indian movement. “I want to make a point to those who say that Dravidianism is confined to Tamil Nadu or southern parts. It has embraced the entire nation. It was pushed here from the Indus Valley civilisation gradually. It’s a pan-Indian movement,” Kamal averred.
Representatives of major newspapers and magazines including ‘Hindu’ N Ram and Editor of Dinamani M Vaidyanathan and lyricist Vairamuthu, speaking at the event, heaped praises on Murasoli and its founder M Karunanidhi.
Karuna’s wax statue on display
A life-size wax statue of the DMK president M Karunanidhi seems to be the star attraction at an exhibition organised in the premises of the party’s mouthpiece Murasoli here in Chennai. The exhibition, organised as part of the platinum jubilee, was opened by N Ram of The Hindu group of publications in the presence of the DMK working president MK Stalin. The wax statue shows the DMK patriarch sitting on a chair at a table. Copies of manuscripts of Karunanidhi’s statements, letters to party men and the original manuscript copy of Murasoli have also been displayed in the exhibition.
Stalin’s son takes centre stage
DMK working president MK Stalin, who calls the shots in the party ever since his father was confined to his residence due to failing health, kept a low profile at the felicitation function without even addressing the gathering. But his son Udayanidhi Stalin took the centre stage in organising the event. In his capacity as Managing Director (administration) of Murasoli, Udayanidhi Stalin occupied the dais and delivered vote of thanks. The venue, Kalaivanar Arangam, was free of DMK flags. Instead flags with a logo designed for the 75th year celebrations occupied the venue.