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'Don't be a balcony govt for balcony people’: Kamal Haasan criticises Modi

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New Delhi, Apr 06: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, criticised the implementation of the 21-day national lockdown, which was imposed to control the spread of coronavirus.

In his letter Kamal Haasan, wrote: "Respected Sir, I pen this letter as a responsible but dismayed citizen of our country. In my first letter to you dated 23rd March, I had urged the government to not lose sight of the plight of the unsung heroes of our society, the most downtrodden, the weak and the dependent.

Kamal Haasan

"The very next day, the nation heard the announcement of a strict and immediate lockdown, almost demonetisation style. I was taken aback but I chose to trust you, my elected leader, the one we would like to believe knows best. I had chosen to trust you even when you announced demonetisation but time proved I was wrong. Time proved you too were wrong sir," the letter said.

"My biggest fear is that the same mistake of demonetisation is being repeated albeit at a much bigger scale. While demonetisation led to loss of savings and livelihood of the poorest, this ill-planned lockdown is leading us to a fatal combination of loss of both life and livelihood. The poor have nobody to look upto except you sir," he said.

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"On one hand you are asking the more privileged people to put up a spectacle of lights while on the other hand the poor man's plight is itself becoming a shameful spectacle. While your world lit up oil diyas in their balconies, the poor are struggling to gather enough oil to bake their next roti," he added.

While your world lit up oil diyas in their balconies, the poor are struggling to gather enough oil to bake their next roti, he wrote.

Calling the announcements to express solidarity as 'psychotherapy techniques' which can address the anxiety of those who are privileged, Kamal asked what would happen to those who don't have even the basic things that human beings need to survive.

"I am sure you don't want to be a balcony government only for the balcony people by completely ignoring the poor who are biggest constituent of our society, our support system and the foundation on which the middle-class, the well-to-do and the rich build their lives," he said.

As millions of daily wage labourers, house-helps, street-cart vendors, auto-rickshaw & taxi drivers and helpless migrant workers struggle to see light at the end of the tunnel, we seem to be securing only an already well-built middle-class fortress.

"The focus on merely keeping people's spirits alive through warm and fuzzy campaigning is probably leading your establishment into ignoring certain actionables that could actually save lives. Long into the epidemic, when the entire country's law and order system had been primed, your system failed to stop congregations of ignorant and foolish people in different parts of the country. These have become the biggest hubs for the spread of the epidemic in India. Who is responsible for all the lives lost due to this negligence?

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"I am sorry to say that sir, this time your vision failed. Furthermore, your government and its appointees seem to be expending all their energies on a combative response to any feedback or constructive criticism. Sane, well-wishing voices with national interests in mind get quickly, intentionally and clinically drowned by the trolls of your army and are dubbed anti-national," the actor wrote.

"I dare anyone to call me an anti-national this time. The common populace cannot be blamed for being ill-prepared for a crisis of this magnitude but you can be and shall be blamed for this. The government is appointed and paid by the people to keep their lives normal and safe," he adds.

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