Prakash Raj has been lately in the news not for his roles but for voicing his ideologies and political stand. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Parivartana Yatra held in Bengaluru, the actor questioned the speech and promises made by the Prime Minister.
He tweeted that promising things wouldn’t bring smiles on the face of the farmers and the unemployed youths of the country.
PROMISE TOOTHPASTE sold in 2014 .. ( forget brushing the teeth ) could not bring a smile on distressed farmers or jobless youth of my country……..do you believe PROMISE TOOTHPASTE ….sold yesterday …in Karnataka rally …..will bring it…. #justasking
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) February 5, 2018
This is not the first time the actor has hit out at the current dispensation. His comments assume significance as the Karnataka Assembly Election will be held this year. Ever since the death of Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh, Prakash Raj has been airing his views on socio-political issues and taking on the BJP-ruled government.
Here’s a brief timeline of the statements the actor has made in the past:
October 2: A statement after the murder of Gauri Lankesh
Prakash Raj slammed Modi and other politicians for keeping silent on the killing of Gauri Lankesh.
“Gauri’s killers have not been caught yet. But what is more disappointing is people celebrating her murder over social media spreading hatred. Some of these people who celebrated her (Gauri’s) murder are followed by our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) on Twitter. We have a PM who shuts his eyes to this,” he said at an event in Bengaluru.
November 12: He commented on actors entering politics
In an interactive section with the Press Club of Bengaluru and Bengaluru Reporters’ Guild, Prakash Raj claimed that actors should not enter politics just because they are popular. Instead they should make their agenda clear. He also said, “I do not subscribe to the idea of actors Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Pawan Kalyan and Upendra launching political outfits just because they are actors though I am a fan of all these stars.”
December 7: When a Union Minister equated Hindutva to nationalism
Union Minister Ananthakumar Hedge claimed that Hindutva and nationalism are the same, to which the actor took to social media to respond to the minister’s claim.
“You said, ‘nationalism and Hindutva’ are not two different things but are one and mean the same. Why do you bring in a religion into nationalism? Then what about those who are not Hindus, people, who are our country’s pride like Ambedkar, Abdul Kalam, A Rahman, Khuswanth Singh, Amrita Pritam, Dr Verghese Kurien… the list goes on. And what about many like me who do not have a religion, but believe in humanity? Aren’t we all the national of our country? Who are you guys… What’s your agenda… Since you believe in ‘janmas’… Are you guys reincarnation of Germans HITLER (sic),” Prakash Raj shared on Twitter.
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) December 7, 2017
December 8: While addressing a crowd in Kerala
Prakash Raj, who was one of the chief guests at the 22nd edition of International Film Festival of Kerala, in his speech said, “Kerala is the only place where one can breathe freely”.
When asked if he endorses the Left party in India, he replied, “ It’s not just creative voices, but just any form of dissent is being silenced. I have started talking because I want to tell them, ‘when you silence a voice, a louder voice will be born’. I raise my voice not because I belong to a political party, but because I am an artiste. And, it is very important for artistes who owe their life and position and comfort to the society to pay it back.”
January 17: Being on ‘Anti-Modi, Anti-Amit Shah and Anti-Hedge’
While attending the India Today South conclave in Hyderabad, Prakash Raj said he was not anti-Hindu as alleged by many but only anti-Modi. He was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and BJP leader and Union minister Anant Kumar Hegde. He said he doesn’t believe people who defend the killers of Gauri Lankesh.
“I am anti-(Narendra) Modi, I am anti-Hegde, I am anti-Amit Shah. According to me, they are not Hindus. Mr Anant Kumar Hegde, who says he wants to wipe out an ‘ism’, a religion from the face of this Earth, cannot be a Hindu. The person who supports killing, cannot be a Hindu,” he said.