Makkal Maiyyam Centre leader and cine star Kamal Hassan today visited the ancestral home of reformist leader Periyar E V Ramaswamy in Erode and said had Periyar been alive, he would not have favoured statues for him.
In the wake of defacing of a Periyar statue in Tamil Nadu, critics of the rationalist movement have been asking why his statues should be venerated when he himself was against idol worship and broke Ganesha idols.Kamal, however, said those who respect their leaders might raise statues. That might not be the best way to remember a man. But defacing statues could not be defended on that account, he said in an interaction with reporters.
Apparently reacting to the chain reaction set off by BJP national secretary H Raja that Periyar’s statues should go the way Lenin’s in Tripura and the consequent defacing of a statue of Periyar in Tiruppathur in Vellore district and another of Ambedkar in north Chennai, Kamal said the controversy had been stirred by the right wing to divert attention from the pressure on the Centre to set up a Cauvery Management Board.
Kamal, who is on the third leg of his tour of the Tamil Nadu after covering Rameswaram and Tiruchi since the launch of the party, said he had no plan of action or policies except “people’s welfare”. He described as “laughable” an accusation that he was being funded by Christian missionaries. He refused to comment on his fellow star and politician Rajini Kanth that he had come to fill the vacuum in the State.Like Rajini, he also wooed students, asking them to be agents of change that Tamil Nadu badly needs.