Chennai: In a surprising U-turn, actor Kamal Haasan has apologised to the people for supporting the Centre's demonetisation policy. The actor, whose political ambitions are well-known, issued an apology in a column for Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan.
Titled "A big apology", Haasan wrote, "I owe it to the people to apologise for supporting the plan in a hurry." The actor was among a host of celebrities across India who had tweeted in support of demonetisation last November. He had then tweeted to say, "Salute Mr. Modi. This move has to be celebrated across political party lines. Most importantly, by the earnest taxpayers."
Noting that he was not the kind of person who was afraid of apologising, Haasan went on to state that he had fully supported the Centre's policy as he thought it was going to get rid of black money and had also thought people should bear the little inconveniences that arise out of demonetisation.
"Many of my comrades and some people who understand economics called me and criticised me for my views. Later I consoled myself, saying that while the plan was good, there may have been some problems with implementation", the actor wrote.
He went on to say that when more economists spoke out against demonetisation, he told himself that while the intention of the policy was good, it was not practical. But with more critics raising their voice against the move, Kamal said he was filled with doubt as the government did not have a strong response to the criticism.
While apologising to the people for supporting the move, Ulaganayagan argued that the sign of a good leader was one who could accept that they made a mistake. "If the Prime Minister accepts his mistake without being adamant, one more salaam is waiting for him from me. The sign of a good leader is when they can rectify their mistakes and more importantly, accept that they made them. Gandhi was able to do it, today also it is possible", the actor said.
The actor's apology comes at a time when speculation is growing about when he will make his political debut in Tamil Nadu. It also comes just weeks after he had praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for several of his pet initiatives, including demonetisation.
When asked about his views on Modi in an interview to India Today last month, Kamal Haasan had said, "He has tried while others only promised. That is why I went across party lines, when some of my friends who knew about my ideologies asked why did you say nice things about him. Swachh Bharat is a good idea. Demonetisation is a good idea. I am not an economist. But now there is criticism about it. Let's see how the situation pans out till he is proven guilty. We will not jump to conclusion for now."