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2-min read

Kamal Haasan Says 'Govt Apathy' to Blame for Techie's Death in Freak Accident in Chennai

Haasan said the powers that be have kept people 'slaves' by calling them 'ordinary' folks, but asserted such 'ordinary' citizens create 'extraordinary' leaders.

PTI

Updated:September 20, 2019, 5:49 PM IST
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Kamal Haasan Says 'Govt Apathy' to Blame for Techie's Death in Freak Accident in Chennai
File photo of actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan.

Chennai: Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan on Friday blamed "government apathy" and "half-baked politicians" for the recent death of a 23-year old woman techie in Chennai after an illegal hoarding put up by an AIADMK functionary crashed on her.

The victim R Subhashree, riding a two-wheeler, lost balance and fell on the road after the hoarding crashed on her and she was run over by a water tanker that came from behind. The incident prompted a public outrage.

Haasan said the powers that be have kept people "slaves" by calling them "ordinary" folks, but asserted such "ordinary" citizens create "extraordinary" leaders. He said such deaths should be treated and booked as "murders" so they don't repeat.

"Many Subhashrees and Raghus have been killed due to government apathy," Haasan said in a video.

K Raghupathy (Raghu) also died in similar fashion in 2017 in Coimbatore when he was run over by a Corporation lorry after his two-wheeler rammed into an arch erected for the MGR Centenary fete then. The late MG Ramachandran, fondly addressed as MGR, is founder of the ruling AIADMK and a former Chief Minister.

On Friday, Haasan wondered "how many more lives will be taken away by these ignorant officials and half-baked politicians".

"Don't they have common sense on where to erect or not not erect banners," he said, also indicating that if questions are raised in the state, then it is met with intimidation, apparently by the ruling party leaders.

"Intimidating (those who) raise questions, threatening to chop-off the tongue if one points out at mistakes--this is the politics they know. I have scant respect or fear for such persons," Haasan said.

He was apparently referring to Tamil Nadu Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji's statement in May this year that Haasan's tongue should be chopped off for his statement at a poll rally that India's "first extremist was a Hindu". Haasan made the remark in reference to Nathuram Godse, who had gunned down Mahatma Gandhi.

On Friday, the actor-politician said people choose to elect their leaders "and be their slaves forever." "If you say we will decide our rulers and be their slaves forever, there is no crazier thing than that. They (rulers) have kept you as slaves by repeatedly calling you ordinary people. I strongly believe that these ordinary people create extraordinary leaders," Haasan added.

He said if people were afraid to question those in power, then "take my hand," and that his MNM will not only raise those issues but also strive for a solution.

"Come, let us question the mistakes... create a new leadership," he added.

Sympathising with the parents of the woman techie, he said the "most difficult" thing was to convey the information of a ward's death to the parents. So was in this case too and not just Subhashree's parents but anyone who "saw her blood" on the road will feel the "horror and pain of death."

He could also feel that as the father of two girls, Haasan said.

Later, speaking to reporters, he said such incidents should be treated as "murder" and legally handled accordingly so that they don't repeat.

The MNM chief also questioned why the AIADMK functionary who had allegedly erected the illegal hoardings, had not yet been arrested.

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