Actor-politician Kamal Haasan lashes out at PM for ‘ill-planned lockdown’, compares it to demonetisation
‘While demonetisation led to loss of savings and livelihood of the poorest, this ill-planned lockdown is leading us to a fatal combination of loss of both life and livelihood,’ wrote in an open letter
A day after millions lit lamps to observe Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a show of unity in the war against coronavirus, actor-politician Kamal Haasan criticized what he called "psychotherapy techniques" and "warm and fuzzy campaigning" while ignoring "actionables" that can save lives.
"We will comply to your wishes and orders but our compliance must not be confused as our subjugation," Kamal Haasan, the chief of Makkal Needhi Maiam, said in a sharply-worded open letter to PM Modi. He said the "ill-planned lockdown" would hit the poorest, like the 2016 demonetization did.
Kamal Haasan also charged, "every time we have a feeling India had a chance to arrest the slide, you seem to be sliding into your comfort zone of unleashing a spirited election-style campaign idea…The focus on merely keeping people's spirits alive through warm and fuzzy campaigning is probably leading your establishment into ignoring certain actionables that could actually save lives."
"My biggest fear is that the same mistake of demonetisation is being repeated albeit at a much bigger scale. While demonetisation led to loss of savings and livelihood of the poorest, this ill-planned lockdown is leading us to a fatal combination of loss of both life and livelihood," wrote the 65-year-old south star.
In the letter, Haasan writes he had "faith" that the government will have a proper execution plan for the lockdown but the hardships faced by poorer classes of the society has forced the actor to withdraw his trust.
“On one hand you are asking the more privileged people to put up a spectacle of lights while on the other hand the poor man’s plight is itself becoming a shameful spectacle. While your world lit up oil diyas in their balconies, the poor are struggling to gather enough oil to bake their next roti,” Haasan wrote.
The actor said it is because of the Centre's negligence that the Tablighi Jamaat conference became the epicenter of Covid-19.
"The focus on merely keeping people’s spirits alive through warm and fuzzy campaigning is probably leading your establishment into ignoring certain actions that could actually save lives. Long into the epidemic, when the entire country’s law and order system had been primed, your system failed to stop congregations of ignorant and foolish people in different parts of the country.
These have become the biggest hubs for the spread of the epidemic in India. Who is responsible for all the lives lost due to this negligence?" Haasan asked.
"I am sorry to say that sir, this time your vision failed… I dare anyone to call me an anti-national this time. 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," Hassan wrote.
Read the full letter, posted on his Twitter handle:
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