India: National award-winning Tamil director Vetrimaaran has sparked controversy by claiming that Raja Raja Cholan wasn`t a Hindu king.
Now, Kamal Haasan has backed the director`s statement which has opened floodgates for controversial debates regarding the king`s identity. It all started at an event Vetrimaaran attended where he raised a few eyebrows when he said, “Raja Raja Chozlan wasn`t Hindu but they (BJP) are trying to steal our identity. They have already tried to saffronize Thiruvalluvar. We should never allow that. ”
Then, Kamal Hassan echoed similar sentiments and said, “There was no name called `Hindu religion` during Raja Raja Cholan`s period. There was Vainavam, Shivam, and Samanam, and it was the British 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.”
Well, interestingly, Vetimaaran`s remarks came just a day after the release of the film `Ponniyin Selvan: 1` which is based on a fictional novel inspired by Raja Raja Cholan. Although Vetimaaran did find support from Haasan, BJP came all guns blazing at the director. BJP leader H Raja has stated that Raja Raja Chola was indeed a Hindu king.
He questioned Vetimaran – “I am not well versed with history like Vetrimaran, but let him point out two churches and mosques built by Raja Raja Cholan. He called himself Sivapadha Sekaran. Wasn`t he a Hindu then?”. Well, this is not the first time that a statement on Raja Raja Cholan has made headlines in Tamil Nadu.