For the past 24 hours, the death of a young girl has ruled the air space of all channels. 17-year-old Anita chose to end her life, days after the Supreme Court directed the medical admission to be done based on the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET). She was leading the fight against the examination in the apex court. The young girl’s tragic story also formed Kamal Haasan’s opening speech on the weekend episode of Bigg Boss Tamil.
After condemning the unfortunate incident, the veteran actor said that while the tears of the state show that we have a heart, the action of the audience in preventing such losses should reflect that we have a brain. Answering unasked queries, the actor further continued, “If someone asks me what the solution is — I am someone who hasn’t finished school education. While I have the will do what is necessary, do I have the skill? Let the people who have the skill let us know. I will listen, we will listen. It is because someone forgot to listen that our heads are bowed down today, in shame. Deepest condolences to Anitha’s family”.
The point is not the validity of his speech, that’s a conversation beyond the realm but the mere presence of it on the stage of an entertainment reality show. Has a reality show turned into a political stage for Kamal Haasan? Is Bigg Boss Tamil turning into a space for him to comment not just on housemates’ behaviour but also on the state and the society?
This is not the first time that the actor has exhorted audiences to question the government or used the show to express his political opinions. In fact, there was an instance last week where he grilled the audience for their anger with Juliana. “If you are livid with this young girl for a lie, why didn’t you shower the same anger on politicians?,” he asked. The week before that there was a sly reference to the AIADMK merger. This Saturday, the actor said, “It is not my job, but my duty,” and thanked the channel for giving him the space to talk about Anitha’s death.
If the actor does enter politics, then Bigg Boss Tamil was a smart decision. His inimitable language and emotional speeches on the show, could easily rival any politician’s oratorical skills. The question is will he go beyond the oratory, and that’s an answer a state is waiting to hear.