Actor Kamal Haasan says hold plebiscite in Kashmir, later claims quoted out of contexthttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/actor-kamal-haasan-says-hold-plebiscite-in-kashmir-later-claims-quoted-out-of-context-5589045/

Actor Kamal Haasan says hold plebiscite in Kashmir, later claims quoted out of context

The MNM statement reads: "We firmly believe that entire Kashmir is an integral part of India and we stand firmly with our armed forces, para-military and central police forces who defend it selflessly," the party said in a statement. 

Kamal Haasan speaking at the Rotaract Annual District Conference at the Chettinad Vidyashram School in Chennai.

Tamil actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president Kamal Haasan stoked controversy Sunday when he called for a Kashmir plebiscite and holding of talks with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Hold plebiscite and make everyone talk, why the government didn’t do that? What are they scared of? We had already torn this single nation and split it into two parts, why don’t we ask them again? But they won’t do,” Hasan said at an event in Chennai.

Haasan was replying to a question related to the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a suicide bombing.

Calling for a ceasefire of hostilities between India and Pakistan at the Line of Control, the actor added: “Why should soldiers die? Is our watchman dying? If both governments behave well, no soldier will die. The line of control will be under control.”

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The MNM has, however, issued a statement claiming Haasan’s words were twisted by an English news channel.

“We firmly believe that entire Kashmir is an integral part of India and we stand firmly with our armed forces, para-military and central police forces who defend it selflessly,” the party said in a statement.

“The references made in the English News channel report were mentioned by our party president in the context of a magazine article published three decades ago about an option that was available at one point in time of history. This is no longer relevant and is in no way an indication of his position or party’s position today,” the statement further read.

Below is a translated text of the question put to Kamal Haasan and his reply:

Q:  In the recently happened Pulwama attack, we lost 44 CRPF personnel. A lot of things were said in the media, we should wage war, revenge is the reply, etc. You took a different stand; you called the advisor (Vijay Kumar) for the Government of Kashmir and you wanted to spend time with the deceased families. What made you do that?

Kamal Haasan: Sir, when someone is bleeding. You should stop the bleeding first, but here all are preparing for surgery. I spoke to a martyr soldier’s father residing in Tirunelveli. He said “I lost my son. He got my eye operated and told me to take care and left. He never came back”.

Both governments should stop fighting with each other. In 10,000 years haven’t we learned even this? Why should soldiers die? Is our watchman dying? If both governments behave well, no soldier will die. The line of control will be under control.

When I was running a magazine called Maiam, I had written about this Kashmir Issue. I mourn this day because I forecasted exactly this will happen, unfortunately, I should have predicted something else. Hold plebiscite and make everyone talk, why the government didn’t do that? What are they scared of? We had already torn this single nation and split it into two parts, why don’t we ask them again? But they won’t do.

The same thing is happening across the border. They have stuck posters of Jihadis in trains. That much of attraction even the film stars here in India won’t get, maybe cricket players will get. That’s also a foolish thing. But India is also committing the same. It’s not fair, if we want to prove we are a far better country, we should not behave like them.