"Paying With Lives": Kamal Haasan Slams Chennai COVID-19 "Mismanagement"

Kamal Haasan said Tamil Nadu has failed to use its health infrastructure properly and that is because of apathy

Kamal Haasan said the state officials thought that coronavirus "would go away".

New Delhi:

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan, who started the "Save Chennai" movement to counter the challenge posed by coronavirus, has blamed the "lack of transparency and mismanagement" of Tamil Nadu's E Palaniswami government.

Chennai has been under intermittent lockdown because of the virus -- Tamil Nadu is the second worst-hit state in the country, after Maharashtra, by the virus. So far, the state has witnessed 1.11 lakh cases, a chunk of them in state capital Chennai.

"I think it is too late to talk about mismanagement. So we have moved into managing the situation to the best of our capabilities as citizens, because this would have gone much better if the government had been keen on citizen participation," Mr Haasan told NDTV today.

Tamil Nadu, he said, has much better health infrastructure than Kerala, the state which has become the textbook case for COVID-19 management. But Tamil Nadu has failed to use it properly and that, he said, is an example of apathy.

"It is apathy because they thought that it would go away or they were ill-informed and didn't listen to medical counsel. The attitude of the top officials made them believe that it is not as serious as the world makes it seem," he said.

There was no communication with people on the ground and the government never wanted citizen participation.

Now it is the citizens who have to be more careful and take the responsibilities and help the government, said the 65-year-old who launched his party, the Makkal Needhi Maiam in February 2018.  This, however, cannot be done without the government, he said as people need the government infrastructure.

"People will have to work together for now and later we can go back to politicisation," he added.