Karthi, who plays Vanthiyathevan, one of the central characters in director Mani Ratnam’s much-awaited magnum opus “Ponniyin Selvan”, says the film, based on a novel by noted writer Kalki, is a gift to the younger generation.
Speaking at the film’s teaser launch event held at the Chennai Trade Center on Saturday, Karthi said, “In our schools, we learn more about how we were colonized by foreigners. Yet we keep calling ourselves Tamils! If someone asks us what makes us great, many of us don’t know what to answer. We would not know how our king was. How were our states and their administration. But it is important that we learn all this.
“There is much to be said (about the states and administrations of the time). Take the Cholas for example. The Kallanai Dam, which they built about 2,000 years ago, remains intact today.
“Veernam Lake, which was providing water to Chennai to meet its drinking water needs, was created by him. Twenty kilometers long and seven kilometers in width, this lake was built by the king, who asked his army to do the same. Then, there is the famous Brihadeshwara Temple or Periya Kovil, which has no foundation but has a height of 216 feet. ,
Continuing to give more details about the other achievements of the Chola kings, Karthi said, “Even foreigners would navigate only on the banks of a water body. It was the Tamil people who learned about the existence of undercurrents and used it to travel across the ocean.
“Till date, many welfare schemes of Tamil Nadu government were prepared by Cholas. There are many such facts. But people like us who flip videos in 10 seconds don’t have time for them.”
Karthi It concluded by saying: “To present it in a film format is a gift that Mani sir is presenting to the next generation. You cannot make history without learning history.
“The younger generation is going to watch and learn from it (the film). When you watch the film, you will be overcome with a sense of pride. And when you feel proud, you want to preserve it. When you try to preserve it, you make progress. I thank Mani sir for this great gift.