Kamal Haasan says risk in making films that question govt: ‘It's citizens right to ask questions’

The veteran actor will next be seen in Shankar’s Indian 2
Kamal Haasan in Indian 2
Kamal Haasan in Indian 2

Artistes are citizens of the country who have every right to hold the authorities to account, said veteran actor Kamal Haasan, admitting there is a "risk" in making films that question the government.

The actor was speaking at the trailer launch of his upcoming film Hindustani 2: Zero Tolerance, in which he reprises the role of Senapathy, a freedom fighter-turned-vigilante who fought against corruption in India.

Titled Indian 2: Zero Tolerance in Tamil, the upcoming movie is a sequel to Kamal's hit 1996 film Indian, which featured him in a dual role. Shankar is returning to direct the second film in the Indian franchise, which will also have a third part.

Asked whether it's tough to make films that question the government today, the actor said this problem has persisted since the British era.

"People were making films even then. We will continue to make those kinds of films, it doesn't matter who is at the top of the establishment. That's not just the filmmaker, that's the citizen's right to ask those questions,” he said.

"We, as artistes, represent so many of you people. Thanks to the applause, we believe that we are your representatives, hence we talk boldly, without thinking of the guillotine. Yes, there is a risk, the government can get angry, but your applause puts out that fire, so make it louder," Haasan added.

The 69-year-old said not only politicians but also citizens are to blame for the corruption plaguing the country.

"We are all responsible for the corruption and we must all change our mind. And the best time to change our mind is during elections. These are just reminders of how corrupt we have become... Nothing has changed thanks to corruption. Everything will change thanks to the collective conscience," he added.

The actor-filmmaker said that while he is a fan of Mahatma Gandhi, he doesn't subscribe to the ideology of tolerance. Kamal also directed and starred in the 2000 film Hey Ram, which was set against the assassination of Gandhi.

"I am a great fan of Gandhi ji. They say he taught you tolerance, 'What do you think about tolerance?' I say I am not a great fan of that tolerance business. Gandhi ji is my hero but who do you tolerate, not a friend. I want friendship to grow in the world. What you tolerate is a headache. Anything that's a headache for society, you must have zero tolerance for. Find a medicine, put it out," he said.

Also starring Kajal Aggarwal, Siddharth, and Rakul Preet Singh in key roles, Indian 2 will hit the screens on July 12.

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