Chennai, April 6 (IANS) Actor-cum-politician Kamal Haasan, President of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to focus on all sections of the society while combating the Coronavirus attack and its impact on the nation and not just the middle-class.
Terming that he is angry at the way the Central government has handled the Coronavirus pandemic he told Modi: “This is the first crisis, the first epidemic that the top of the society has inflicted upon the bottom. And the topmost, i.e, you sir seem interested in bailing out everybody but those at the bottom.”
Kamal Haasan in an open letter to Modi said as millions of daily wage labourers, house-helps, street-cart vendors, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers and helpless migrant workers struggle to see light at the end of the tunnel, the focus seems to be on securing only an already well-built middle class fortress.
“I would like to see you doing more to secure everybody’s fortress and ensure that nobody goes to bed hungry,a Kamal Haasan said.
“Sir, this is the time to listen to voices who truly care. I do care. It’s the time to smudge all boundaries and give a clarion call to everyone to come on to your side and help.”
“India’s biggest potential is its human potential and we have tided over bigger crises in the past. We will overcome this too but it must be done in a way that brings everyone together and doesn’t become yet another reason to choose sides,” he added.
According to Kamal Haasan, while Covid-19 will continue to find more victims, a fertile playground for hunger is being created in the nation.
He said HED20 (Hunger, Exhaustion, Deprivation) is a malady that is smaller in profile but far deadlier compared to Covid-19 and would have a longer impact than the pandemic.
Charging Modi of giving a spirited election-style campaign idea while addressing the nation Kamal Haasan added: “It seems you are comfortable outsourcing responsible behavior to the common people and transparency to the state governments. This is the perception you are creating, especially amongst those who spend enough time working toward and intellectualizing for a great today and tomorrow for India.”
“I am sorry if I have offended you with the use of the word intellectual here, for I know that you and your government does not like that word. But I am a follower of Periyar and Gandhi and I know they were intellectuals first. It’s the intellect that guides one into choosing a path of righteousness, equality and prosperity for all,” he added.
On combating the Covid-19 pandemic Kamal Haasan told Modi that the country did not learn the lessons early enough.
“When we eventually woke out of our slumber, you ordered an entire nation of 1.4 bn people to shut down within 4 hours. A mere 4 hour notice period for the people when you had a 4 month notice period!a he said.
According to Kamal Haasan visionary leaders are ones who work on solutions long before problems become big.
“The common populace cannot be blamed for being ill-prepared for a crisis of this magnitude but you can be and shall be blamed for this. The government is appointed and paid by the people to keep their lives normal and safe,” he said.
Events of these magnitude get etched in history for two reasons, one being the devastation (illness and death) that they cause due to their core nature. The second being the long term impact of what they teach humans to prioritise and the kind of socio-cultural changes they bring about, Kamal Haasan said.
In conclusion Kamal Haasan said: “We are angry but we are still on your side.”