Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan met the students of Madras University who are staging a protest inside the campus demanding the withdrawal of the amended Citizenship Act on Wednesday and said the country was moving towards a dictatorship.
However, Haasan was stopped at the entry by the security forces and the actor-politician held talks with the students through the gate and extended his solidarity. Speaking to the reporters, Kamal Haasan said the freedom and the democracy of the nation was at stake.
“There are 800 students struck Inside Taramani and Marina campuses. They have been starved out so that their voices can be silenced. I have come here to lend my face as their podium and my vocal cords as their microphone. I am not allowed inside. They might say what rights I have got since I am a high school dropout. But let me tell you, once the students get their degrees and get out of the college, they will call themselves as engineers, lawyers, and doctors, but till I die, I will call myself a student. I shall remain a student and I have come here in that capacity to be their defender,” Haasan said.
“I will keep voicing, whether or not I had started a party, now that I have started a party, it has become my bonded duty to be here and voice. You cannot silence the voices across the country, I fear we are moving towards a dictatorship,” he further said.
On Tuesday morning, around 60 students began a protest at the University’s Chepauk campus. Despite appeals from the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and police personnel, the students declined to withdraw their protest. Close to 100 police personnel entered the varsity’s Chepauk campus and stopped several students from joining the protest.
The Triplicane police detained two students Karthikeyan and Subbiah earlier in the day for allegedly provoking the students from other campuses to take part in the protest. They were later released at midnight with a warning.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, a representative of the students said, “All our friends in the universities of Assam, West Bengal and other states are protesting against this inhuman act and we are supporting them. Tamil Nadu has always stood up against the oppression. We cannot be silenced by using force. We invite students from other colleges to join us and exhibit a protest similar to Jallikattu.”
Kamal Haasan’s MNM had earlier filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the CAA. Addressing reporters at the party headquarters on Tuesday, Haasan said every blow on the students was a blow on the freedom of expression. “The young people have to be politically aware, there is nothing wrong with it. Politics is omnipresent in their life and it affects them. They must understand it and question it. When these questions (are) stifled, then democracy is in dangerous ICU,” Haasan said.
Taking a dig at the AIADMK, which voted in favor of CAA, Haasan said the party is an obedient student to their “masters”. Haasan said he would participate in the protest to be organised by DMK on December 23 at Chennai against the CAA. He said the ongoing issue is beyond religion, language, parties, and politics.
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