A day after Indians heeded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to light diyas in order to show unity against the fight against coronavirus, actor-turned-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) leader Kamal Haasan shot off a strong-worded letter criticising the PM and the government.
In a three-page letter, Haasan condemned the PM’s move to enforce lockdown within four hours of the official announcement calling it ‘ill-planned’ and comparing it with demonetisation of 2016.
My open letter to the Honourable Prime Minister @PMOIndia @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/EmCnOybSCK
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) April 6, 2020
“My biggest fear is that the same mistake of demonetisation is being repeated albeit at a much bigger scale. While demonetization 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. The poor have nobody to look up to except you sir. 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,” he wrote.
Calling the Modi government a balcony government, for the balcony people, he also accused the government of ignoring the lowest strata of the society.
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“I am sure you don’t want to be a balcony government only for the balcony people by completely ignoring the poor who are a biggest constituent of our society, our support system and the foundation on which the middle-class, the well-to-do and the rich build their lives. The poor man never makes it to the front page news but his contribution to nation building both in spirit and in GDP cannot be ignored. He has a majority stake in the nation. History has proven that any efforts to destroy the bottom has led to the toppling of the top. Even science will agree here,” read the letter.
However, in the end, urging Modi to listen to the voices of the people who care, Haasan signed off on a note of support and said, we are angry but we are still on your side.