Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) leader Kamal Haasan has come out in support of Anna University Vice-Chancellor MK Surappa who is facing an inquiry on corruption charges.
Haasan, in a video message, said Surappa is an honest man who has refused to yield to authoritative pressure. “He (Surappa) wanted to raise the quality of education standards in engineering in Tamil Nadu. But will our ‘corruption collective’ let that happen? They will break anyone who doesn’t bend to their will.”
Haasan also lashed out at the Tamil Nadu government for instituting the inquiry against Surappa on the basis of an “anonymous letter”. “After the commission couldn’t find any wrong, they started spending people’s money to publish advertisements in the hope to find any details,” Haasan said.
The MNM leader further questioned the credibility of the committee by posing a series of questions. “Did they inquire about the illegal occupants of Anna University?” Haasan asked.
Quoting an article written by former Anna University vice-chancellor E Balagurusamy in a Tamil magazine, where he accused the state Higher Education Minister of demanding a bribe of Rs 60 lakh for appointment of professors, Haasan asked whether the committee has conducted an inquiry into that.
“Opposition parties, media, social activists have all been raising their voice against corrupt ministers, have they been questioned? Conducting exams and announcing the results is the job of an educator, why are corrupt politicians poking their nose in that as well? Are they trying to buy out the students with marks just like they do with bribes for votes?” he asked.
Haasan said the public might have differences with Surappa’s policy bias and political Ideology but when one is hunted down for his honesty, he or his party — which is a camp of honest people — won’t be a mere spectator. “This isn’t the problem between just an educator and a group of politicians, this is a war between an honest individual and a collection of corrupt politicians.”
In his message, Haasan also said that they should not allow the creation of another Nambi Narayan — a former ISRO scientist who was falsely charged in an espionage case. He alleged that the government is sending a clear threat that if people like Surappa and other honest officials refuse to be part of their corruption, they will destroy their life, spread false information and malign their image. “From Sagayam to Santhosh Babu, so many people have been hunted down by these corrupt politicians. If this is the situation of higher-ranked officials who fought with them and finally were forced to take up voluntary retirement, what would be the state of ordinary citizens? We should not let this continue. We must not create another Nambi Narayanan,” he said.
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