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When Subramanian Swamy destroyed Prakash Raj

The villain from silver-screen had to endure another pummelling. This time though it was a verbal duel, in which a 78-year-old protagonist in the form of Subramanian Swamy knocked out his opponent, Prakash Raj. Times Now hosted a debate squaring up the two, after which Raj was seen visibly seething and frustrated.

The debate began on a very sombre note, but soon the mood changed. At one point, Prakash Raj stated that he is opposed to BJP, Modi and Shah because they “politicised religion”. At this juncture, the anchor asked Raj, that if he has this stand, why had shared a stage with the likes of Umar Khalid, who have done exactly that. Raj tried to wriggle out saying that although he shared the stage, it was for a different purpose. But he Dr Swamy quickly rebutted saying that he may not have supported them but he did not condemn them either. Raj was finally pressurised to issue a generalised condemnation of all such people who politicise religion.

Later in the debate, when the topic veered to lynch mobs killing in the name of food habits, Raj was asked whether he condemned the use of phrases like “saffron terror” or “Hindu terror”. Raj replied that he had asked Kamal Hassan to stop using such phrases, in a recent debate. Then Raj was asked whether he had condemned the Congress ministers and leaders in 2010 when the phrase was coined. At this point, Raj lost his cool and raised his voice. It seemed a raw nerve was touched. He however ended by saying that people who terrorize do not belong to that religion itself.

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At one point, Raj was speaking to Dr Swamy where he asked Dr Swamy, to stop doing illegal activities. Dr Swamy replied: “Where have I done anything? There’s not a single criminal case against me. You try to put a criminal case against me and I will teach you a lesson”

Going further in the debate Raj placed a point that the fact that he was invited for a debate with Swamy, meant that his voice was being heard and he was able to change the narrative. Dr Swamy quickly answered him saying that his ability to speak was because the “Hindutva” in power, were allowing him to speak, thus negating the point of voices being suppressed.

Raj further went ahead to say that he has decided to question leaders to be answerable and accountable. Swamy quickly reminded him that he can do this only in India and not in Pakistan. Raj tried to misquote Swamy and said that whenever he asks questions, he is told to go to Pakistan. Swamy shot back saying:

“I did not say you go to Pakistan. I don’t think Pakistan will take you because they will not be able to adjust with you”

Raj had to respond by only saying “Kuch Bhi”

Perhaps Prakash Raj should restrict himself to the celluloid and at best, spreading half-truths and whole lies on social media. 

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