Director Karu Palaniappan was invited by the organisers of the BAPASI Chennai Book Fair recently to address the audience. The director spoke at length about the role of books in his life, and what education and reading means for the state and for its politics. Karu Palaniappan also criticized the veteran actor Sivakumar for knocking down a fan’s phone at an event in Madurai in October.
Speaking in the event, Palaniappan told, “The main advantage in reading a book is, we will be able to see everyone with love and compassion. When people ask me will I get knowledge after reading book, I will say ‘No’. Because there is no use of gaining wisdom in this country. If you need to gain the knowledge of accepting people like who they are, then one must read books. It is not mandatory that all should gain knowledge after reading books. Sometimes being stupid too will look good.”
The director also cited an incident in which the current Chief Minster of Tamil Nadu, Mr Edappadi K Palanisamy spoke at an event and said that ‘Kambaramayanam’ was written by ‘Sekizhar’. Palaniappan said, “It is fine to read whatever the district collector writes and gives him, but doesn’t he have that basic idea to understand what is written? It is such a dumb act that one says a wrong answer when the right answer is in the question itself. So this means that no one is reading for the to gain wisdom, to understand life and love, rather they read blindly.”
Saying that it is absolute waste when the books that people read didn’t teach them how to love others, he cited the incident in which veteran actor Sivakumar knocked down a fan’s phone. He said, “People can say that they are the wisest person and they know everything. They can say that they know all the thousand songs in Kambaramayanam. But what is the use in knowing and orating it, when you tarnish your own respect and image by knocking down someone else’s phone?”
“He didn’t know that the respect he gained for the past 45 years has gone in a single moment by knocking the phone. What is use of learning the poems by heart, knowing it and remembering just for its sake? So when one reads the book and takes it to the heart, the byproduct of that will be love and compassion to others,” he further added.
Veteran actor Sivakumar, who attended the inaugural ceremony of a private fertility center in Madurai in October, knocked down the phone of a fan who was trying to take a selfie with him at the event. Soon after the incident the video of the actor knocking down went viral, where the actor was criticized.
Later that day, the actor expressed regret and apologised for his actions in a video. Sivakumar said: “Excited fans do such things in a crowd. But being a film artiste, I should have been more tolerant. I deeply apologise for what I have done, for many have said that what I did was wrong. I’m very sorry.” While the actor also gifted the fan with a new mobile phone later that week.