Kamal At Tuticorin
Makkal Needhi Maiam party President Kamal Haasan’s speech at Thoothukudi
The whole of Thamizh Nadu is observing us, ready to join hands with us. I’m here as a Thamizhan, an individual, not as a party’s leader.
Any industry that disregards people’s lives and cares only about its business and profits should be abolished.
People here have understood the situation. The voice of Thoothukudi should reach the Delhi Government. Thamizhnadu Government doesn’t seem to have heard it.
I have a party that I founded, but I’m here as the individual, Kamal Haasan. I have a responsibility far greater than that of an actor – I’m a Thamizhan. My bond with the you (people of Thamizhnadu) is not just linguistic, it is emotional!
The injustice done to you is the result of the ugly face of the business greed.
Few are telling me that the people of Thoothukudi are demanding money, and they claim that they will face losses if they give the money. They say they can’t afford to compensate 5 crores each to 120 people, but they are ready to pay 8000 crores to Politicians. Both these informations have no base evidence. They are ready to pay 8000 crores to rich politicians but are not willing to pay 600 crores to the affected people. This is their business tactic.
Even I’m a businessman, there are a lot of businessmen here, but they should follow ethics. All the businesses that destroy the future generations should be stopped. This is my opinion. I will convey this message wherever my voice is heard.
The air of this neem tree carries your breath, this gives me new enthusiasm and energy! With this new enthusiasm, I will join your protest. You continue your protest, I salute you. This is the voice of democracy, we must make sure it is heard. That is why I’m here.
They are telling lies with great confidence. Was the Green belt established? They claim they have done it and that illiterate people are telling lies. I’m illiterate as well, but I have survived so far. They are asking me for statistics, they claim I’m here for votes. I’m not here as a politician, I’m here as Kamal Haasan the individual. They claim I’m here for the lime light – to click photos. I don’t know about the others, but numerous photos of mine have been captured, they have even made movies with me. I have lost interest in all this.
Mr Kamal Haasan’s tweets’ translation: Sit under that neem tree in Thoothukkudi, Kumarareddypuram you will gain wisdom to understand people. Heard the wails of mothers. A government that disregards people will decline and fall. People are the centre of polity. Truth will prevail
Kamal – Press Meet
Q: The Sterlite issue is being talked about throughout India, but the state and central government don’t seem to care.
A: This is their negligence; this has been prevailing for so many years. Sterlite broke a lot of rules. Such a huge crime couldn’t have been committed without the permission of the government, it has happened with the knowledge of the Government. It seems like the Pollution Control Board hasn’t done its job properly. There should have been a green belt. There are no traces of it. I went to see it, it doesn’t exist. The belt that they claim is inside SIPCOT should be verified if it is actually there. The license for TIP (Thoothukudi Industrial Park) hasn’t been granted yet, but expansions works have begun.
Some people who sit inside AC rooms in Madras, who charge money to talk are asking me if such happenings are true, they are asking me for evidence and proof. I saw the kids affected with diseases, such injustice should not happen in democratic India. That is my humble opinion.
Q: The factory has been shut down for 15 days, is that a tactic of the Government or the management to curb the protest?
A: I don’t know who did it, but if PCB tests for pollution now, we will find no evidence of pollution. They will show this findings and claim to be pure. That isn’t true. This is like taking your temperature when you don’t have fever.
Q: Will Government pay heed to the protest?
A: It is my duty, duty of the people and the media to make sure the Government pays heed.
Q: What is your request as an individual?
A: Don’t allow the expansion, if possible you can shut down the industry. Nothing is more important than the life of people. If Copper is very important, the industry can be established in non-red zones, uninhabited places, not where people live, not in agricultural lands. Why is this industry located here? ‘Proximity to the port’ is not an acceptable answer.
Q: This is the issue of Thoothukudi, DMK are protesting for Cauvery – an issue that the entire Thamizh Nadu faces. Were you not invited? Or did you choose not to participate?
A: We weren’t invited. If we are invited, we will participate. Let’s talk about this issue in detail on the 4th of April in Trichy.
Q: There are lots of protests going on, but this is the first protest that you are attending…
A: My situation and the work I used to do were different. What matters the most is that I’m here now.
Q: You said you have come as the individual, Kamal Haasan…
A: Yes, that was their request. But now, I’m addressing you as the President of Makkal Needhi Maiam.
Q: Kadambur Raju claims that you are doing this (joining the protest) for the lime light?
A: I have been in the lime light my entire life. I have had more than my share of the lime light since the age of 5. What I am doing now is to being honest to my conscience.
Q: You previously worked in the Film industry, now you are in Politics, what are the highs and lows of these industries? How do you plan to work?
A: In every phase of our life, with our experience, purpose changes definition. Earlier, when I was a part of the film industry, my purpose was to make good cinema. But right now, the purpose of my life is to stand by the people and do good for them. I think I have reached greater heights now, it is my responsibility to do justice to this position. I’m doing just that.
Q: You are here now, following suit will MNM organise any protest?
A: As the representative of the people, it becomes my duty to raise my voice for this cause wherever possible.
Q: Is MNM ready to legally challenge this issue?
A: We will discuss about this with experts in the field of Law and Science.
Q: Will MNM organise any protest for the Cauvery issue?
A: We will address this on the 4th of April.
Q: You said 120 people are asking for five crores…
A: That is what I heard, that is what they are claiming. They are creating a lot of rumours, lots of different rumours are floating around. It may come from anywhere. I’m hearing too many rumours, on hearing them I can conclude that the scales aren’t balanced.
Q: Following Madurai and Trichy, do you have plans to tour Thamizh Nadu?
Q: During the time of Elections?
A: Right now. The tour during the Elections will be different, this tour is my duty. It is my duty to meet the people.
Q: Many are saying that there are chances of Parliamentary elections being held even before the TN Elections. What do you think?
A: Nobody can predict the future. We must wait and watch.