Using Tricolour’s example, Kamal Haasan says Saffron should not Spread too much

Chennai: Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Thursday opposed “saffronisation,” saying all sections of people should be given space and respect.

Using the national flag as a symbol to convey his political message, the actor rejected suggestions that he was denigrating the Hindu right wing ideology.

Haasan, who launched his political party Makkal Neethi Mayyam on Wednesday, has said his politics will be free of caste and religion.

In November last year, the actor had faced flak for his “Hindu extremists” remark from the BJP and other right wing outfits. However, he had clarified then that he was not anti-Hindu.

“Some say that Kamal Haasan is denigrating saffron. It is wrong. Saffron has been given its rightful place for its sacrifice, what is more, even the national flag has a place for it,” he said in his column in Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan.’

Hassan said, “I say that saffron should, however, not spread to the entire flag. Let us give space and respect to others. It is the pledge we have taken and that is what has been mentioned in the Constitution too.”

He did not name or party or organisation. He also did not refer to any specific incident or give a context or the trigger for raising the matter immediately after launching his party.

Claiming that a video had appeared on YouTube where some people were shown taking a pledge to remove the word secular from the Constitution, he asked how such a change came through in about 50 years.

“Can sacrifice (of pluralistic values) to such an extent be made for the sake of votes,” Haasan said, and asked if such a thing was not worse than a war.

He said in ancient times even warfare had its own set of dharmic values.

Without such values “politics that involves bloodshed all the time should be changed and that is my desire”, he said.

Great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar had worked for the country despite differences among them and such lessons should not be lost, Haasan said.

“I am beginning my journey as a postman making you remember it (working for the nation despite differences),” he said.