Politics of hatred playing out in Manipur, says actor Kishore
Kishore has been raising his voice against social, political and cultural evils, even when others have remained silent for reasons best known to them. Image: Twitter

Politics of hatred playing out in Manipur, says actor Kishore

Multi-lingual actor Kishore on why he vents on Instagram and why he's is not worried about criticising Modi on Manipur

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At a time when society and political parties are divided over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rhetorical response to the historic ‘no trust motion’ moved against the BJP-led government over the ongoing heinous violence committed against women in Manipur, multi-lingual actor Kishore is one of the few voices from the entertainment industry who has dared to openly question Modi’s ‘silence’ for the last two months.

When the cinema in India is deeply polarised and only a few artists such as Naseeruddin Shah, Prakash Rai, Javed Akhthar, Swara Bhaskar and others are raising questions on polarising narratives in the country, Kishore has mustered courage to question Modi’s silence on Manipur likening him to ‘Kumbhakarna’ of the epic 'Ramayana' on his Instagram page.

Kumbhakarna’s deep sleep

Kishore’s Instagram post mirrors his frustration. Here is his Instagram post:

“Kumbhakarna, who had hidden the crookedness and incompetence of not being able to answer the question of Manipur, behind the veil of silence, got exposed in Parliament after the veil of silence was removed by the Opposition using the no-confidence motion. When our own people are lying in a pool of blood in Manipur, the one who makes a living by the money we pay, instead of talking about our problem rejoiced in criticising and ridiculing others, lingering in his own praise, fund and lies, reducing the most critical issue of Manipur into dirty politics."

Also read: 'Jailer' villain Vinayakan TK: An outlier all set for pan-India fame

The socially-conscious teacher turned actor

Though Kishore Kumar G, popularly known as Kishore, a teacher turned actor, who appeared in front of the arc lights just 19 years ago, through the Kannada film 'Kanti' (starring Sri Murali) has acted in over 135 films in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi so far, besides six prominent web-series.

Kishore first shot into fame for portraying the character of forest brigand Veerappan in Kannada film 'Attahasa' ('Vanayuddham' in Tamil in 2013). While 'Ponniyin Selvan' part I and II, 'The Family Man' and 'Kantara' got him pan-Indian recognition for his performance. His performance as Jaffar in the recently released Rajinikanth starrer 'Jailer' got a lot of appreciation from the audience. In his spare time, Kishore is a progressive farmer.

Kishore has been raising his voice against social, political and cultural evils, even when others remained silent for reasons best known to them. This is not the first time, Kishore is taking recourse to Instagram to voice his resentment over what he describes as ‘misdoings’ of the ruling dispensation.

Caution about Vishwa Guru

On August 4, he warned society about ‘Vishwa Guru’ and his machinations in dividing the society as majoritarian and minoritarian through his Instagram post.

“Beware of Vishwa Gurus.. In Manipur, in Haryana, on the Mumbai train, in TV channels, in the Parliament, in the drawing room of hypocritical capitalists, in courts and offices, in the guise of police, in those IT cells, in every corner of the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. In the name of God, in their dirty greed for power, they have given birth to fanatical Vishwa Gurus who are paranoid..beware".

"If you don’t applaud them, If you question them….Even if you think.. They will shoot, they will beat you to death, they burn houses, demolish, kill children. Parade the women naked and rape. And make the country famous all over the world… Come, unite, let’s not fight among ourselves, let us fight together against pervert Vishwa Gurus. Let us return again to the land of love, and land of peace. That was our India”.

Known for expressing his views without worrying about repercussions, the actor is aware that one day or the other the establishment will strike back. But, he has not stopped questioning those in power fearlessly.

Also read: How Kannada film Achar & Co weaves modern problems into a 1960s milieu

Suspension of Kishore’s Twitter account

Twitter suspended Kishore’s account when he took up the issue of farmers, who thronged Delhi and stood firmly for nearly a year. He questioned the boycott Bollywood trend without thinking twice and equated the development to 'fanatical hooliganism'.

Kishore called upon the film fraternity to stand up and support Bollywood by condemning the trend of boycotting films and politics of hatred against actors. He supported multi-lingual talented actress Sai Pallavi when she equated the killings of Kashmiri Pandits with the elimination of Muslims in the country. He did not stop just by supporting her. He questioned the media on whether it was a crime for film personalities to have an opinion on social issues.

He did not spare 'Kantara' too

Kishore did not spare 'Kantara' too, in which he acted as a police officer. He spoke against superstition. He argued that if cinema is used to encourage superstition and divide the people by provoking communal feelings, even a big film will be the biggest defeat of humanity. The actor strongly believes that “a filmmaker should have social responsibility”.

This is his take on 'Kantara':

"A request of concern for those, who are painting the colour of Dharma on our folk deities, the Bhoota of Kola and the Daiva Nema. Why do we fail to see the colour of adharma in the practice of untouchability, which does not allow the person who wears the vesha of the same daiva into the house belonging to the upper caste feudal, and the cleansing with holy water, when enters their house?"

"Why do we fail to see the dharma of Garnalu Saheb’s ultimate sacrifice by bursting a bond to save his people?? Like any popular movie, 'Kantara' is uniting the people of the country surpassing the borders of caste, religion and language. Through entertainment, people are being made aware of many social issues. By using such a move to incite superstition and bigotry and divide the people, the greatest success can become the greatest failure of humanity".

"Think for a moment before falling prey to the brokers of hatred, who have already fallen prey to the brokers of hatred, who have already hijacked the national anthem, flag, logo and poets, who have used and abused crores of freedom fighters including Patel, Gandhi, Bose, Nehru, just for vote. Think for a moment before they hijack our cinemas too. Our movies are our pride. Do not let them become the pawns of bigoted politics".

Inspired by Dr Rajkumar's films

Ask Kishore what made him take recourse to social media to air his views, he tells The Federal in an exlusive chat, “I use Instagram to vent out my feelings when I get frustrated with what is happing around me.” Kishore claims he derives his courage and thoughts from social philosophers likeg Buddha, Basava, Gandhi, Ambedkar, Kuvempu and films of Dr Rajkumar.

Has Kishore received any threats for having antagonised those in power with his posts? “No,” says Kishore. “I don’t feel intimidated. But there are warnings from my friends, who worry about my security. But, I can’t stop airing my views. Finally, I am indebted to the people, who made me Kishore of today. I am certain that I am taking a social stand, not supporting any political ideology. I want people from every stratum of society to raise questions on what's wrong happening around them," he asserts.

Politics of hatredness

Disturbed by the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, he points out, “Successive governments are equally responsible. But, earlier it was neglect of north-eastern states, now it is exploiting people's emotions to divide the society, as what is being practised in Manipur is “politics of hatredness”. The situation is more dangerous than before. It is akin to what is happening across the country, I mean majoritarianism vs minoritarianism,” he observes.

Citing the development in Haryana, which recently witnessed communal violence, he says, “If those in power are incapable of handling the situation, better they resign and go. If the government allows it to continue its political agenda, it will be part of the crime happening in the country."

It appears the political dispensation is taking cognisance of Kishore’s words. This is why, despite the actor’s request, Twitter has not revoked the suspension of his account even now. That is the reason he takes to Instagram to express his feelings at what is happening in the country. Not many actors in the Indian film industry are willing to stick their necks out like he does.

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