Vikram says people should celebrate and be proud of the country’s illustrious past as he gears up to present a pivotal chapter from Indian history with Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus “Ponniyin Selvan – I”.Based on Kalki Krishnamurthy’s 1955 novel, the much-anticipated Tamil historical drama chronicles the story of the early days of Arulmozhivarman, a powerful king of the south who went on to become the great Chola emperor Rajaraja Chola I.
Vikram, the star of Tamil hits “Sethu”, “Pithamagan”, “Anniyan”, “Raavanan” and “I”, essays the role of Aditha Karikalan, the elder brother of Arulmozhivarman, in the new movie.
“We talk about superpowers today. In the ninth century, when all this happened, we had the biggest maritime naval force in the world and it went all the way to Bali, Malaysia, and China. What was the superpower doing then?”America hadn’t been discovered by Columbus till five hundred years later. Think about our culture, think about how advanced we were, we need to be proud of this. It’s nothing to do with North or South India, East or West. We are Indians and we need to be proud of that… We should celebrate our history,” the 56-year-old actor told reporters here.Vikram was speaking at the film’s press conference on Saturday where he was joined by Ratnam, co-stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jayam Ravi, Karthi, Trisha and music composer AR Rahman.The actor said people often speak highly about the beauty and architecture of pyramids but nobody ever wonders about India’s majestic temples and how they were built.”In India, we have so many temples but the one with the highest ‘Gopuram’ is there in Thanjavur which is where the Chola dynasty happened. Rajaraja Chola had built it. The top stone, a single stone, alone weighs 80 tons. How did they do it? And do we know about it?”We all go to the pyramids, to the Leaning Tower of Pisa… We appreciate a building that doesn’t stand. It’s falling over and we are like ‘Wow! Let’s take a selfie!’. We get excited but we have temples today that stand. And they didn’t use plaster,” he added.