Following the Hindu Makkal Katchi’s (a right-wing fringe group) demand to arrest Kamal Haasan for hosting Bigg Boss, the actor called a press meet last night, and tackled many questions about the show.
What do you think about Hindu Makkal Katchi’s demand to arrest you?
I believe in the law, and I think the system will take care. Law will safeguard me, and justice will protect me.
What is your answer to their claims that the show degrades Indian sentiments?
I think those who demand my arrest are also my fans. But they are the fans who want to see me in jail. I should say that the same people who are criticising me today, celebrated my Dasavatharam – I shouldn’t forget that. The show was already telecast in Hindi and Kannada, and they understood it well. They had no issues with the show. I think we don’t know Tamil, and may be we have not understood the concept.
Do you think they are cornering you since you have been openly discussing issues these days?
Not only now, for the past 37 years I have been speaking my mind. I have done a kissing scene in the film, Sattam En Kayil (1978). So, do you think, Kamal Haasan, who did not spoil the culture then, will do so now, in this show?
Do we need this show (Bigg Boss)?
If we need cricket, we need this as well.
What do you think about the way the contestants behave and talk on the show?
If I had written the screenplay for a film, and you are asking me about the film, I am responsible. I have not written the screenplay for Bigg Boss. Nobody has written it.
Do you think this show will change the contestants’ life?
Psychologically, some change may happen. The show is about ‘koodi vaazhthal‘. In K Balachander’s Poova Thalaiya, he had portrayed issues within a family. KB wrote the dialogues for the movie; in Bigg Boss, the contestants are writing their own dialogues.
So, there is nothing wrong with the show?
What about the way in which they dress and behave?
No. If you walk around the streets, you will know that I’m right.
You could have hosted a show like Satyameva Jayate.
I have been doing Satyameva Jayate for the past 37 years, off screen. They receive remuneration for the show. I have been doing the same thing through my Narpani Mandram all these years.
If you had hosted a show like Satyameva Jayate, you could have avoided this controversy.
If I had wanted to shy away from controversy, I wouldn’t have done Virumandi and Hey Ram.
Bigg Boss is under fire on social media.
People’s comments on social media are their personal opinion, and I cannot comment.
There are many awkward things in the show that need to be questioned.
There are more awkward things happening in this society that we are not able to question. Can you question caste?
Nobody sang Tamil ‘Thaai Vaazhthu’ properly on the show.
No, they didn’t sing it properly. I agree. But teaching ‘Tamizh Thaai Vaazhthu’ to non-Tamilians is not something wrong. I knew Nambiyaar Anna for so many years, and when he spoke, he had a Malayalam accent. If P Susheela sings, Tamil will be perfect, but you cannot expect the same perfection from singers of a different language. This is what this country is. We live in a secular country.
A tape, which has been circulating online, features actor Vaiyapuri, one of the contestants of Bigg Boss, telling his wife that he would return home in a couple of weeks as he would be evicted. How does he know that in advance?
First of all, I think this tape is not a true record. Even if it is, I think he would have said it casually. He wouldn’t have meant it.
Kamal also answered questions that were not about the show.
If Rajinikanth starts a political party, will you criticise him, as well?
If Rajini starts his own political party, I will do the same criticism that I have been doing now for all these parties. If he is not honest, I will criticise him as well.
In the actress abduction case, an actor has been arrested in the Malayalam industry. Do you express solidarity to the victim?
I respect law. I express solidarity to the victim.
When talking about GST to the media, you had called India the ‘East India company’… I was misquoted. I said: “Naan Kattabommanum alla, idhu East India companyum alla.” I repeat. “Naan Kattabommanum alla, idhu East India Companyum alla.”