Posted by Fenil Seta
Subhash K Jha (DNA; July 15, 2017)
A fringe group, Hindu Makkal Katchi, in Tamil Nadu has called for a ban on the Tamil version of Bigg Boss. They have demanded the arrest of host Kamal Haasan. The group has even labelled him to be an “anti-Hindu person”. However, Haasan doesn’t seem fazed. “No, I am not cowed down by the bullying…or perhaps ‘cowed down’ is not the politically correct term to use. But no, I am not intimidated. I’ve been subjected to such labels for years now,” he says.
It’s been around for 11 years in India
The anti-culture accusations against Bigg Boss has taken Haasan by surprise. He says, “This, I’ve to admit, was unexpected. Bigg Boss and its foreign version — Big Brother — have been an accepted format for television for as long as we remember. Bigg Boss has been telecast in India in Hindi for 11 years. It’s not likely to induce paroxysms of cultural hysteria in Tamilians, who are familiar with the show. It’s a reality-show format accepted the world over. I see no cultural or ideological clash between us and them in the show. And I haven’t come across anyone doing anything anti-national on the show.”
‘I am not worried’
Worried daughter Shruti Haasan paid her father a visit on Wednesday evening. The actor sees no threat to his life or property. “I currently live in transit. My house is under construction. I am not worried. But this kind of rogue policing disturbs people close to you. That is a problem,” he says, pooh-poohing the speculation that the current tirade against his Bigg Boss avatar is actually a pretext for his entry into active politics.
Not going to quit
Haasan says, “Let’s get this very clear. I am not joining any political party. Neither am I quitting my duties as host on Bigg Boss. I am not going to be bullied by fringe elements.”