Mr.Hassan, You are not MF Hussain
Mr.Hassan , in a very moving interview you expressed that you will leave your Tamil Nadu like MF Husain left India. You sir are not MF Husain. Let me tell you why I arrogantly say so…
We as Tamil people are quick to draw judgement. We have our own opinion about our neighbours, our relatives, people from one state over, people in the neighbouring countries, our siblings, people who belong to other religions, other caste, other community, other languages the list is endless. So it is difficult for us to even imagine that a movie can be about more than just an opinion drawing battle or a no-brainer rom-com.
You should know that, my mother still cannot bring herself to watch Mahanadhi again, it shocked us into reality. You brought us Mahanadhi back in the day when the ‘Child Trafficking’ topic was considered taboo. In our grill gated homes and air conditioned theaters you brought us Abbas in Kurudhi Punal. I’m here to tell you that I haven’t forgotten Amjad Ali Khan In Hey Ram. I remember every stereotype you broke. Some subtly, some not so. In Sathileelavathy you broke stereotypes by grooming Pazhani to be independent. Neither are all Indian men shallow chauvinistic pigs Raja reminded us and nor all saree clad Indian women pious.
Sathyamurthy and Shakthivelu strive for justice, equality and peace in our communities. Unnal Mudiyum Thambi and Thevarmagan broke the stereotypes of youth just loitering around in Tea Shops and wasting lives. You are not the first to discover young men and women who shoulder enormous responsibilities beyond their capability. You are not the first one to understand that they may not always make the ‘right decisions’. But you did give them a fighting chance to be as real as possible. I cannot deny Virumaandi his dues, or Raghavan his accolades.
Movies have been and will continue to be one of the most influential media tools our state will ever have. Look at our politics…littered with politicians all of whom we know via media. There are plenty of movies have been feeding our diabetic society with what we desire and not what is healthy. Movie makers like yourself and a few others have been our insulin. Movies like yours draw us out of our catatonia. There are a precious handful of movie makers young and old whose movies make us stop and think , with characters that condition tolerance, respect, wisdom, faith and hope in our people who are mostly at the mercy of inappropriate songs and painfully boring mega serials.
Take it from me Mr.Hassan, you may alienate yourself from Tamil Nadu or Tamil Cinema or Tamil people, but you can never take Tamil out of you. That is why you are not M F Husain. You, Mr.Hassan, are a Tamizhan and that makes you, like the rest of us Tamizhars, weirdly unique. You will endure and you will survive and as long as you do, you just cannot get away from us in essence. Don’t you see, as Tamizhans we are genetically conditioned to outlast every pillaging king, every natural calamity, every change of socio political climate and every war. Every Tamizan is like an embassy, wherever he/she is, that place, that four feet of his/her personal space is Tamil Nadu. That is how we have survived for centuries and that is how we shall endure.
Take heart sir, you will never leave Tamil Nadu, you will simply take Tamil Nadu wherever you go!