A fringe Hindu group in Tamil Nadu has called for a ban the Tamil version of ‘Bigg Boss’. They have also labelled the show’s host Kamal Haasan as ‘anti-Hindu’.
When I caught up with Kamal Haasan, he seemed not the least fazed. “No, I am not cowed down by the bullying…or perhaps ‘cowed down’ is not the politically correct term to use. But no, I am not intimidated. I’ve been subjected to such labels for years now.”
The anti-culture/anti-Hindi accusations against ‘Bigg Boss’ has taken Kamal by surprise. “This, I’ve to admit, was unexpected. ‘Bigg Boss’ and its foreign version ‘Big Brother’ have been an accepted format for television for as long as we remember. ‘Bigg Boss’ has been telecast in India in Hindi for 11 years. It’s not likely to induce paroxysms of cultural hysteria in Tamilians who are familiar with the show. It’s a reality-show format accepted the world over. I see no cultural or ideological clash between us and them in the show. And, I haven’t come across anyone doing anything anti-national on the show.”
Worried daughter Shruti Haasan paid her father a visit on Wednesday evening. The actor and film person sees no threat to his life or property. “I currently live in transit. My house is under construction. I am not worried. But this kind of rogue policing disturbs people close to you. That is a problem,” he says, pooh-poohing the speculation that the current tirade against his ‘Bigg Boss’ avatar is actually a pretext for his entry into active politics.
Taking a deep breath, Kamal Haasan says, “Let’s get this very clear. I am not joining any political party. Neither am I quitting my duties as host on ‘Bigg Boss’. I am not going to be bullied by fringe elements.”