‘Chola King was not Hindu’: Kamal Haasan’s comments trigger controversy; hashtag #TamilsAreNotHindus trends


Veteran actor Kamal Haasan’s statement saying that Chola king was not Hindu has sparked intense debate on social media, making hashtag #TamilsAreNotHindus to trend on the microblogging site.


Addressing reporters, Haasan supported filmmaker Vetrimaran’s statement that Raja Raja Cholan was not a Hindu king. The veteran actor went a step further by claiming that there was no term called ‘Hindu religion’ during the Chola era.

While Haasan faced backlash from a section of Hindus, his supporters trended #TamilsAreNotHindus.

The debate over whether the Chola king was a Hindu ruler started after the release of Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: I, which stars Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan among others. The film has been declared a huge commercial success with analysts predicting it to gross more than Rs. 500 crore at the box office.

Filmmaker Vetrimaran had said, “Continuously, our symbols are being snatched from us. Saffronising Valluvar or calling Raja Raja Cholan a Hindu king is constantly occurring.”

As for Haasan, he said, “There was no name called ‘Hindu religion’ during Raja Raja Cholan’s period. There was Vainavam, Shivam and Samanam, and it was the Britishers who coined the term ‘Hindu’ since they didn’t know how to refer to it collectively. It is similar to how they changed Thuthukudi into Tuticorin.”

The statement by Vetrimaran and Haasan evoked sharp reaction from the BJP, whose Tamil Nadu leader, H Raja, asked which mosques or churches were built by the Chola king.

Meanwhile, Twitterati have been sharing their opinions on the debate under hashtag #TamilsAreNotHindus.