Kamal Haasan’s appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

With the Tamil Nadu government seeking permission from the Madras high court to put up banners welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the bilateral summit at Mamallapuram, Kamal Haasan on Wednesday opposed the move.

“Honourable @PMOIndia While Thamizh Nadu and Thamizhians are struggling to cope up with the loss of Shubasri’s death, the Thamizh Nadu Government has approached the courts to obtain permission to erect your banners,” he tweeted.

The actor-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder added: “If you act as a pioneer in taking the first step to put an end to this haphazard banner culture, it will reflect your concern towards the sentiments of Thamizhians, and that in itself will garner you the greatest publicity possible. Jai Hind!”

Recalling the September 12 death of Shubasri, a techie who was crushed under a truck after a huge banner fell on her as she was riding her scooter in South Chennai, the MNM president said the general public has not yet come out of the shock.

Last month, the court had held officials responsible for the loss of Shubasri’s life for failing to remove those structures. The court had asked, “How many litres of blood you need? Government officials look like blood suckers. Lives are lost due to irresponsible officers. There is zero respect for lives. Will people attend events only if there are banners?”

Following a direction by the court, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Leader of Opposition MK Stalin and various other political leaders of Tamil Nadu appealed to party cadre to not erect banners, cut outs and hoardings.

A few days ago, speaking at the Media Con 19 conducted by Loyola College in Chennai, Kamal said, “students should not stay away from politics. Without discussing politics, there cannot be any development in education and politics.” He said: “Youngsters should not look up to politicians to fulfil all needs. Because of them everything is stained.”