The actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has backed up the director Vetrimaran’s claim that Raja Raja Cholan was not a Hindu king by asserting that there was no such thing as “Hindu religion” during the Chola era. The National Award-winning Tamil filmmaker’s remarks have sparked heated discussions about who the real king is. It all began when Vetrimaaran raised some eyebrows at an event he attended by saying, “Although Raja Raja Chozlan was not a Hindu, the BJP is attempting to steal our identity. The attempt to saffronize Thiruvalluvar has already been made. Never should we permit that.”
Kamal Haasan offered similar encouragement and added, “During the reign of Raja Raja Cholan, there was no such thing as the “Hindu religion.” The term “Hindu” was first used by the British because they were unsure of how to refer to Vainavam, Shivam, and Samanam combined. Similar to how Tuticorin was created out of Thuthukudi.”
Additionally, he mentioned that there were other religions practised at the time and that Adhishankarar had developed “Shanmadha Stabanam” in the eighth century.
It’s interesting to note that Vetimaaran made his comments the day after the film Ponniyin Selvan: 1, which is based on a made-up book by Raja Raja Cholan. Haasan did lend his support to Vetimaaran, but the BJP attacked the filmmaker with full force.
Raja Raja Chola was a Hindu ruler, according to BJP leader H Raja. He interrogated Vetimaran “Vetrimaran may be more knowledgeable about history than I am, but I’ll let him mention the two churches and mosques Raja Raja Cholan erected. He went by the name Sivapadha Sekaran. Then, wasn’t he a Hindu?”
In Tamil Nadu, news of a statement about Raja Raja Cholan has already generated headlines. Filmmaker P A Ranjith caused controversy in 2019 by disparaging the king. At the time, he declared that the reign of the former king had been a sad time for Dalits. According to him, during Raja Raja Cholan’s rule, “Land had been seized from them forcibly and numerous sorts of caste persecution had started.”