In a statement that has boomeranged on him in form of angry trolling, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday (January 3) said victims of domestic violence should maintain dignity and equipoise to protect and empower themselves instead of resorting to combat.
“Dignity and equipoise are important to your protection and empowerment. With the above qualities, your self-defence can become non-violent. When non-violence meets violence, there is no combat; clearly the criminal is exposed. Your confidence can do more damage than pepper spray,” he tweeted.
Dignity and equipoise are important to your protection and empowerment. With the above qualities, your self-defence can become non-violent. When non-violence meets violence, there is no combat; clearly the criminal is exposed. Your confidence can do more damage than pepper spray https://t.co/0frfUtciWZ
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) January 2, 2021
The actor was responding to a video posted on January 1 by one Sneha Mohandoss, who is seen skillfully swinging the nunchanku, a weapon of self defence, with a caption that says that it is the feeling of confidence in one’s ability to protect oneself that empowers a woman and lets her lives with less fear and more freedom.
While Twitteratti lauded her skill, Kamal’s prescription of ‘non-violence against violence’ for a victim of domestic abuse was slammed left, right and centre.
Many users including politicians and feminists demanded a logical explanation of the tweet, asking how maintaining ‘dignity’ is going to protect a woman when she is being physically abused. Some others likened the politician’s sentiments to that of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“What are you saying, Sir? I will do anything to save myself and loved ones from getting harmed by a criminal/murderer/rapist. Dignity my foot!” tweeted Tamil Nadu Congress leader Lakshmi Ramachandran.
“With this regressive tweet, you have earned the right to be part of Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet,” said another user.
Another user named Dhanalaxmi Shanmuganandan Jayakumar asked what is point of exposing the perpetrator after being victimized by staying calm.
“How can you say self-defense is violence…? So much disappointing Kamal sir. That too from an intellectual (apart from Cinema) in my opinion. Do u really mean If someone intended to defeat us(in any mean) then we have to stay calm and maintain our equi poise…?” she asked.
One Twitter user asked the politician to “speak with a conscience”, especially in a country which has witnessed gruesome cases like the Kathua rape and murder, while another questioned his understanding.
“It shows he doesn’t read Gandhi or Periyar completely. He understood everything in a wrong way. He exposed his ignorance by entering into politics,” the latter said.