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Kamal Haasan Supports Vetrimaaran’s Comment On Chola Dynasty: ‘Only Saivism, Vaishnavism Were Prevalent’

By: Archana R

Edited By: Zinia Bandyopadhyay


Last Updated: October 06, 2022, 21:47 IST

Chennai, India

Kamal Haasan supports Vetrimaaran's comment on Chola Dynasty

Kamal Haasan supports Vetrimaaran's comment on Chola Dynasty

Director Vetrimaaran’s comment on religion during the Chola Dynasty drew flak from many, but several other including Kamal Haasan backed the National Award winner

While controversies are raging over Tamil director Vetrimaaran’s speech about Raja Raja Cholan, actor Kamal Haasan and VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan amongst others have extended their support for the director. Vetrimaaran claimed, during the recently held event of Thirumavalavan’s 60th birthday, that Raja Raja Cholan is receiving a ‘Hindu identity’. After his claim, many individuals and political parties are voicing their thoughts both in favour of and against Vetrimaaran. “When was Hinduism practiced during Chola period?” he had questioned.

Vetrimaaran’s remarks were made only a few days after the theatrical release of director Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus, Ponniyin Selvan: 1, which is based on a popular fictional Tamil novel written by Kalki that was inspired by the Tamil emperor Raja Raja Cholan, who ruled during the 10th century.


Thol Thirumavalavan, the leader of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) which is an ally of DMK, recently celebrated his 60th birthday with a documentary screening celebration. Director Vetrimaaran spoke at the occasion and remarked, “The Dravidian movement’s control of Tamil cinema is the only reason Tamil Nadu has become a secular nation. Cinema is a type of art that is widely accessible to the general public. Today, we need to treat art with respect. If we don’t handle it, we would soon lose our identity.”

Further, the Aadukalam director said, “They frequently use our identities wrongly like portraying Raja Raja Cholan as a Hindu king, by cladding Thiruvalluvar in saffron. Our identities are being erased. Art is inherently political. Our very existence is political. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we occupy a particular political zone. Making cinema political is essential since it is a medium that easily reaches the general public.”

Apparently, this claim was denounced by BJP leaders- H Raja, Vanathi Srinivasan, Khushboo, and others. BJP MLA Vanathi Srinivasan condemned Vetrimaaran’s statement saying, “Raja Raja Cholan built the biggest temple of Lord Shiva in Thanjavur to the amazement of the world. But for hundreds of years, conspiracies have been going on to destroy Hindu culture and symbols in order to establish foreign religions in this land.” She criticized Vetrimaaran’s speech as a testimony to the fact that it continues unabated.

MP and VCK leader Thirumavalavan supported the director and tweeted, “Saivism and Vaishnavism were distinct during the reign of Raja Raja Cholan. Where is Hinduism at that time?”

When asked about Vetrimaaran’s remarks during a media interview, political figure Seeman (Chief of Naam Tamilar Katchi) said, “What the director said was accurate. He believed that the Dravidian movement made film a universal medium for everyone by reclaiming it from a certain society or dominant caste.”

“Raja Raja Chola was an emperor of Tamils. There’s a belief that he belonged to Saivism. Tamil is the language of Sangha, Saiva, and Vaishnava literature. No such thing as Hindu literature exists. BJP is unaware of or unconcerned with Tamil Nadu’s history. The only thing that matters is bigotry. Politics intrude into every form of art, including cinema. The director’s point is valid,” said Congress MP Jothimani.

Actor and politician Kamal Haasan supported the viewpoint of director Vetrimaaran and said, “Only Saivism and Vaishnavism were prevalent during the reign of Raja Raja Chola, not Hinduism. We were given that name only by the white people.”

Vetrimaaran is a well-known filmmaker from the Tamil film industry and a recipient of several National Award. As of 2022, he had won five National Awards. His film Aadukalam, starring Dhanush, won him the national award for the first time in the categories of best director and best screenplay. His other award-winning movies include Asuran, Visaranai, and Kaaka Muttai. Kaaka Muttai was supported under Vetrimaaran’s own production.

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first published:October 06, 2022, 21:47 IST
last updated:October 06, 2022, 21:47 IST