Actor turned politician Kamal Haasan has a penchant for stoking controversies. The actor’s comments on the recent Pulwama terror attack created a new controversy. Talking at the event he said, “Why is India not holding a plebiscite in Kashmir? What are they (government) afraid of?" Kamal Haasan had said this at an event on Sunday, where he also referred to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as "Azad Kashmir". The actor’s comments came during his interaction at a school in Chennai when he was asked about the recent terrorist attack in Pulwama that killed 49 CRPF personnel.
While talking about an article he wrote some decades back for the magazine ‘Maiyam’ run by him then, Kamal Haasan said he had then questioned why the people of Kashmir were not taken into confidence and why no plebiscite was held. "I truly regret when people say army men are going to Kashmir to die. The army itself is an old fashioned thing. Like how the world changed, how we decided that humans will not kill each other for food, likewise a time will come to stop fighting. Has the civilisation not learnt this in the past 10 years?," asked Kamal while addressing the gathering in Chennai.
The newbie politician also said that if the opposition and government 'behave well', the line of control can be kept under control. He added that photos of jihadis were put up on trains to portray them as heroes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, referring to it as “Azad Kashmir”. “That is also a foolish thing to do,” he said. “India also behaves with an equal amount of foolishness, it’s not fair. If we want to prove that India is a far better country, then we should not behave like this. There begins politics, there begins the new political culture.”
Soon, his party, the Makkal Needhi Maiam, tweeted a statement claiming his comments had been reported out of context, focusing one news channel in particular. "Makkal Needhi Maiam strongly condemns the report... which has completely twisted the words of our Party President Mr. Kamal Haasan out of context. Our President and our Party stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the armed forces in this hour of grief," the statement said.
The party further said the report on Kamal Haasan's remarks, "were mentioned by our Party President in the context of a magazine article published three decades ago about an option that was available at one point of time in history."
"This is no longer relevant and is in no way an indication of his position or Party's position today," the statement added. "We firmly believe that entire Kashmir is an integral part of India and we stand firmly with our armed forces, para-military and central forces who defend it selflessly," it concluded.