Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan supported director Vetrimaran’s statement that Raja Raja Cholan was not a Hindu king and added that during the Chola era, there was no term called "Hindu religion". At an event held earlier, Vetrimaran had said, “Continuously, our symbols are being snatched from us. Saffronising Valluvar or calling Raja Raja Cholan a Hindu king is constantly occurring.”
Vetrimaran cautioned that with cinema being a commoner’s medium, it was important to understand politics to protect one’s representation.
Thousands of Hindus are lampooning the stand of Vetrimaran and Kamal Haasan. Punching a big hole in the actor-turned-politician's logic, user Sahana Singh wrote on Twitter: "The logic that these people use is equivalent to saying that Homo sapiens were not Homo sapiens 300,000 years ago because there was no such term as Homo sapiens then." This line of argument was repeated by many other users using different phraseology.
Kamal Haasan went on to justify his twisted rationale, saying, “There was no name called ‘Hindu religion’ during Raja Raja Cholan’s period. There was Vainavam, Shivam and Samanam, and it was the Britishers (sic) who coined the term ‘Hindu’ since they didn’t know how to refer to it collectively. It is similar to how they changed Thuthukudi into Tuticorin."
The actor, who has for years struggled to make a mark in politics, stated that there were several religions during the era and that in the 8th century Adhishankarar had created Shanmadha Stabanam.
Kamal Haasan, who watched Ponniyin Selvan with the cast and crew, requested that it is the moment to celebrate a fiction based on history. “Let’s not exaggerate or twist history or bring language issues into this,” stated Kamal Haasan.
Senior journalist Kanchan Gupta, who is now a senior adviser to the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, quipped: "So actor Kamal Haasan is now an 'expert' on Hinduism and Hindus. Wendy Doniger has serious competition."
"As always, (the) media is breathlessly reporting the chap's highfalutin bunk and the usual panellists are working themselves into a lather. Pause. Must we take note of idiocy?" Gupta poked.
Political commentator and social media influencer Anshul Saxena thought Kamal Haasan was running down Hinduism because he was a closet Christian. He shared an old interview of the actor with television personality Karan Thapar where Kamal Haasan had said he was "spreading the word of Christ" on the behalf of a Christian organisation.
Columnist on several websites Aabhas Maldahiyar mocked the actor-politician, saying, "Shaivism isn’t in pantheon of Hindu Dharma because Shiva is God of a religion whose latest prophet is Kamal Haasan."
User 'Common Swadeshi' seized the opportunity to question the Tamil Nadu government's exercise of control over temples built by the Cholas: "Perhaps Kamal Haasan should explain why the ~1000-year-old temple built by the great Raja Raja Chola is listed under Tamil Nadu Government's Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department, while the term 'Hinduism' didn't exist when the temple was built."
On that strain, public speaker and anchor Ramesh Venkatraman tweeted: "Next he will say, that Brihadeeswaran Koil is actually Brihadaesu Aalyam (church). The man can't be taken seriously. He is simply being loyal to those who keep him relevant and financially afloat."