Published: 01st October 2019
Hindi is a little child in diapers compared to Tamil: Kamal Haasan at Loyola College
The Makkal Needhi Maiam President and actor spoke at Loyola College and exhorted students to engage in politics vigorously
Whether it's a party meeting or a hall packed with students, Kamal Haasan rarely stops himself from speaking his mind. Stoking the Hindi language debate again at an event in Loyola college, the actor-turned-politician likened Hindi to a 'child in diapers' when compared to older Indian languages like Tamil. He said, while answering a studentvs question at the Visual Communication departmentvs Media Con '19, he said, "Among all the languages the youngest is Hindi. It is a little child in diapers. We will have to take care of it as it is our child too. Compared to Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu it is young and we will care for it."
Hassan, who has made strong remarks against Hindi imposition by the BJP-led Centre, continued curtly, "I don't have derision for it but compassion and kindness. I speak a little of it. It' a good language. Our contention is don't stuff it down our throats. Call us for dinner and lay it out, don't tell us what to eat and in what order." There was rapturous applause from students from across Tamil Nadu who had come to attend the conference.
Talking largely about the youth and their power to leverage social media to change the politics in India, he said, "Media integration will take you to the heights that you have dreamt of. It is not just for timepass and entertainment but will be a mighty weapon that takes your voice to the world, the country and to the country's leaders. It is time for you to take it in your hands and use it. This is the truth. You are one of the pillars of this digital democracy," he said before adding much to the mild consternation of the administration on stage, "This is politics. Let there not be any doubt. Without governments and politics, education or humans or farming can never develop."
Exhorting the youth to not stay away from politics, Hassan turned to one of his more repeated calls for action, hitting out against the more traditional image of the Tamil Nadu politician - that of the white khadi shirt and dhoti, "That Is the invitation I give everyone here. Don't stand by and say you don't want to get involved in politics. It is because you have stood by and left it to the men in white dhotis that things have gone out of hand. It is your responsibility and duty to change things. If you are governed by your conscience then tomorrow is ours indeed," he said using his party's (and once MGR's) sign off.
When asked about why the TN government was admitting that their youth were unemployable, he said that that was the view expressed by the "corporate companies investing here". He went on to say, "Let's face the truth. The Tamil Nadu government has led our education system to atrophy. By simple apathy you have allowed atrophy to settle in the way we teach our youngsters and we are on the verge of a revolution that is as important as satyagraha. We are seeing a revolt from institutions that want students to be skilled," he suggested.
Reflecting on how he had urged the Loyola College administration to start the VisCom course thrifty years ago, Hassan said that he was proud at how far they had come, "Thirty years back, I was one of the insistors and extra-mural nuisances who kept telling the authorities here that you needed a Visual Communication department," and went on to say that he would be a student for longer than anyone present there, "I see myself as a student such as yourself. As I discontinued my studies I am a student till I die. Once you get your degree, you will walk out happily. I won't. I will continue studying," he said with a short laugh.