Chennai: Makkal Needhi Maiam founder-president Kamal Haasan was criticised for his “shallow understanding” of caste polity after a 2014 video of his daughter, Shruti Haasan, declaring her ‘Iyengar’ status resurfaced online.
In a question-answer session with his Twitter fans on June 29, Haasan responded to a query, tweeting, “I refused to fill in the caste&religion column in both my daughters’ school admission certificate. That’s the only way, it will pass on to the next generation. Every individual shld start contributing fr progress. Kerala started implementing the same. Those who do shld be celebrated. (sic)”
On Saturday, Twitterverse dug out a September 2014 interview of Shruti Haasan on the chat show ‘Look who’s talking with Niranjan’.To a question by the host Niranjan Iyengar — on what seems like a long-running gag between the two — as to why she refers to him as her “Aambalaiyaan”, Shruti says, “It is because you’re Iyengar and I am Iyengar and we are both creative. And there’s a very high chance that nobody will marry either of us.”
Twitterati accused Haasan of double standards and pointed to Shruti’s video to further their cause. D Ravikumar, general secretary, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, said that the tweet exposed Kamal’s understanding of caste.“(The tweet) shows that his understanding of caste system is shallow which is why he suggests such remedies. My humble request for Kamal would be to read Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste,” Ravikumar said.
Political observer ‘Tharasu’ Shyam pointed out to Haasan’s “Thevar Magan” (1992) as an example of the actor promoting caste identity via his films.Other Twitter users said Kamal had not discontinued the practice of adding caste names to his films, pointing out to his under-production venture ‘Sabash Naidu’ as an example.