The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kamalahasan joins anti-war cry

Bangalore, March 11: The Congress, the BJP and even the Samajwadi Party have time and again displayed their silver screen star pool, but not the Left. However, in the campaign against a possible US war on Iraq, the Left parties have bagged a prize catch — Kamalahasan.

The former superstar will participate in a series of anti-war meetings across south India in the next few weeks.

The meetings will be officially sponsored by an organisation called Janakiya Yudha Virudhha Vedi (People’s Anti-War Platform) but will basically be shows of the CPM and its front organisations.

The campaign will kick-off tomorrow with a rally at Kannur, a CPM bastion in Kerala. The next meeting would be held at Alappuzha, another CPM stronghold. This would be followed by meetings in other south Indian states.

Though Kamalahasan, who is from Tamil Nadu, a state where almost everybody with some association to the film world has political ambitions and affiliations to political organisations, he has till now stayed away from pursuing a political objective actively.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Kamalahasan said he took the new turn because he felt strongly about the “unjust war” that was being imposed on the global community.

However, there are recent pointers that he has developed a soft spot for the Left.

In his latest film, Anbe Sivam (Love is God), Kamalahasan plays a CPM activist who forsakes his beloved for the larger good of the workers in a factory.

The film revolves around the conflict between a trade union leader —Kamalahasan — and a young advertisement professional supporting globalisation and economic liberalisation.

The story for Anbe Sivam and the script was by the star himself.

A significant moment in the film has the ad professional asking the union leader why people like him continue to support ideas like socialism and communism though it has failed, as shown by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Kamalahasan’s character responds by asking whether the young man would stop living if the Taj Mahal collapsed one fine day.

The film has enthused Left activists across Kerala and Tamil Nadu and has been a moderate success at the box office as well.

Whether Kamalahasan would move forward from the anti-war campaign to espousing other contemporary Left causes more actively is to be seen, but the CPM should certainly be keen to cash in on his popularity in all the south Indian states.

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