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Kamal slams Modi for lockdown, but praises PM too

Posted April 8th, 2020, 10:25 AM IST

Kamal slams Modi for lockdown, but praises PM too

Reflective of the unprecedented complexity the country is facing in the wake of the Covid-19 new coronavirus pandemic, actor-politician and leader of the Makkal Needhi Maiyam (MNM), Kamal Haasan, slammed the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for the sudden nationwide lockdown, but wrapped it with political niceties and courtesies for the senior BJP leader.

In a three-page long letter to Mr. Modi which he shared on Twitter on Monday, he termed the instant lockdown as being worse than the Prime Minister's announcement of the demonetization of high value notes in November 2016.

Kamal Haasan said though he initially trusted Mr. Modi's demonetization move, time proved him wrong when none of its objectives was achieved."Today, there is probably no other world leader with such a massive following," he said of Mr. Modi. "You Speak, they follow and we will comply to your wishes and orders," said Kamal Haasan in a back-handed compliment as it were. "But our compliance must not be confused with subjugation," the actor added.

"Please pardon my lack of etiquette if any. My biggest fear is that the same mistakes of demonetization is being repeated, albeit at a much bigger scale. While demonetization led to loss of savings and livelihood of the poorest, this planned lockdown is leading us to a fatal combination of loss of both life and livelihood," wrote Kamal Haasan in his open 'Chitti' to the Prime Minister.

Taking pot-shots at the 'PM dias call' on Sunday, to switch off electric lights and asking people to light lamps and candles to express solidarity in fighting the Covid-19, Kamal Haasan said, "on the one hand, you are asking the more privileged people to put up a spectacle of lights, while on the other the poor man's light is itself becoming a shameful spectacle."

In the very next paragraph, Kamal Haasan says he should not be misunderstood for "I am not suggesting we ignore the middle class. In fact, I am suggesting the exact opposite....I would like to see you doing more to ensure everybody's fortress, and that nobody goes to bed hungry."

On the Covid-19 crisis handling per se, Kamal Haasan said, "India's first case was reported on 30th of January and we had seen what happened to Italy. Yet we did not learn our lessons early enough." He attributed the Prime Minister ordering a nationwide shut down "within four hours" to what he thought was "failure of Modi's vision" in this instance.

"This is the time to listen to voices who truly care," said Kamal Haasan, even as he underscores with sarcasm in another part of his letter that the "poor have nobody to look up to, except you Sir." The contributions of the poor people to the national GDP are being systematically ignored, he wailed.

The MNM leader rounds off his letter saying, "we are angry, but we are still on your side," after asserting that nobody could dare call him an anti-national. ends.