The 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) kick-started on Friday, December 8, on a grand note in Thiruvananthapuram. South Indian actor Prakash Raj, who was the chief guest of the opening ceremony, appealed to all artists to raise their voice against injustice in society.
The 52-year-old also praised people in Kerala as it is the only state where he can breathe without fear.
"When I come to Kerala I don't come with a script to talk because there is no censor here. I love you because this is one state where I can breathe without fear. Whatever I am going to talk now, I believe with integrity that this is what I should talk [sic]," Prakash said during the event.
"I have started talking because I want to tell them that when you silence a voice, a louder voice will be born [sic]," he also said.
Prakash Raj also stated that he often raises his voice not because he belongs to a political party, but as he feels responsible being a member of the film fraternity. "The artists of a society are not what they are because of their talent. They are what they are because of the love from the society and it is very important for such artists who owe their life, position, name, fame and comfort to the society," he added.
"They are threatening me, I laugh at them. They try to silence me, I started singing," he said.
"They have a problem with a film called S Durga but, they don't have a problem with 'Durga wine and bar'. They have no a problem if a street named 'Durga is dirty. When we as Malayalees, Kannadigas, Telugus, Bengalis and Tamilians want to celebrate our language and culture, why do you want us to learn Hindi? [sic]," he added.
Prakash concluded his speech by requesting the youngsters in Kerala only to fight amongst themselves and not to allow enemies to interfere in the family matter.
"I have a personal request to the youngsters of Kerala. You know what I like about your state? I like the way you fight among yourself. So beautiful, so personal and so creative. Don't allow others to come and instigate a fight. Have differences, have protests, fight among yourselves, it is a family matter. Don't allow the enemy, who comes in to start a fight," he concluded his speech.
Watch the full video of Prakash Raj's speech here: