Veteran actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi recently sat down for a candid conversation.
Kamal Haasan, who on December 24 joined Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra as the foot march entered Delhi, discussed politics, India-China, Mahatma Gandhi, and cinema during their one-on-one when the MNM leader opened up about his decision to make “Hey Ram”.
Kamal Haasan, who has a pan-India appeal, spoke at length about his 2000 release ‘Hey Ram’ which was based on the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The film was released in both Tamil and Hindi.
Kamal opened up about how he agreed to do the project and what went on behind the camera. He spoke about the thought process behind the plot of the film which basically revolved around how his character wanted to kill Mahatma Gandhi in the film but couldn’t after getting to know him. In the film, although Haasan backed out from killing Mahatma Gandhi, somebody else did kill him.
Talking to Rahul about the film, Kamal Haasan opened up about how he came up with the idea for the film.
In a heavily emotional moment, Haasan said, “It was my way of saying sorry to my Bapu. I have to take the onus of the crimes, including what happened in your family. We let it happen.” Rahul Gandhi lost his grandmother and father, both former prime ministers, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi in separate assassinations.
He further explained how he was earlier a critic of Mahatma Gandhi but ended up liking him.
“I talk a lot about Gandhi ji now, but it wasn’t like that from the beginning. My father was a ‘Congress man’ but my environment made me a bitter critic of Gandhi ji when I was in my teens,” he said.
“My father said, ‘Just read history, you are talking from today.’ But today matters is what… He is a lawyer, but he didn’t argue with me on this,” he added.
Haasan said, “Around when I was 24-25, I discovered Gandhi ji on my own and over the years I have exponentially become a fan. To actually correct yourself and say sorry, that’s why I made Hey Ram, where I played a parallel assassin, wanting to kill Gandhi ji. As he goes nearer to the person-and the truth-he changes. But it’s too late, somebody else does the job that he wanted to do but changed his mind about. That’s the story of the film.”
The film ‘Hey Ram’ also featured Shah Rukh Khan, Atul Kulkarni, and Rani Mukherji in prominent roles.
‘Hey Ram’ won three National Awards – best supporting actor bagged by Atul Kulkarni, besides for costume design, and special effects.