Thala Ajith raises one pertinent question after looking at the current goings-on - where are we heading as a nation?
Says Ajith, "I think it's high time we place our hand on our heart and ask ourselves - each one of the 100 crore people in this country - where are we heading as a nation? I am an actor by profession just like how people are bankers or journalists. And when the elections come, I - just like everyone else - stand in a queue and cast my vote. I am one among you and like all of you, I am concerned about our country. May be being an actor I have a platform where I can be heard and I am trying to make use of it in a positive sense rather than trying to use it for any personal, vested interest."
He further adds, "Today, being Republic Day, I am sure it's on everyone's minds that it's been 64 years since we got freedom but we need to ask ourselves where we are heading. It's not about individual issues. We as a people collectively don't have a problem - all of us, including me, have friends belonging to different religions. We celebrate each others' events and functions with equal importance. Even our leaders, like CM Madam Jayalalitha and our former CM Kalaignar Karunanidhi, who's an atheist, participate in functions of other religious communities. We, as a society, are a very tolerant and secular society."
Ajith feels that we are all happy as a society but it is a select few who are trying to damage society by influencing people the wrong way. "Instead of finding fault, let us try to live happily together as a nation. The pride of being one nation should come before anything else," he says adding, "Unfortunately, the film industry has always been a soft target. For industries like drama and theatre and cinema, this is not a healthy trend. We should not encourage people who try to indulge in sensationalism for publicity. I am saying this to all the 100 crore people in India, including myself. The few people who come to streets at the drop of a hat to protest causing nuisance to the common man, the law and order - they are just a fraction of the population. There are lakhs of people who wish well for the state and who are going about their duties and obligations without stepping on anyone's toes. It doesn't mean they don't care for their country. And every person who comes and protests on the street is not necessarily patriotic, his intentions could be wrong. I am just saying open your eyes and see through this."
As far as issues in the country go, Ajith says, "All our leaders over the last decade or two have been trying to sort out issues be it nationalization of rivers or the Sri Lankan issue. I stand in line just like each one of you hoping that the respective governments will find solutions. By getting actors to go on a procession is not going to solve problems. The problem here is an actor participates in it out of fear because he'll be branded non-patriotic and then if he doesn't, he faces the wrath of his colleagues. I cast a vote, like the public, hoping that the government will take care of such issues."
The film industry and some actors in recent times, like Kamal who is facing issues with Viswaroopam and Trisha, who faced issues with a statement she made, are being seen as the unfortunate target of some people. Ajith says, "Recently, even Trisha was victimized for some comment which could have just been part of a jovial conversation. There are much more serious issues to be dealt with. The people who really care about the country are going about fulfilling their responsibilities, their obligations to their family and country without creating a ruckus and disturbing the public. Just like you, I want my child to grow up in safe and sound environment. Today, as a citizen, I am worried and scared just like you all. Being a citizen of this country I have a right to voice my fear."