Kamal Haasan is a self-proclaimed atheist. Haasan has often questioned the existence of God and has highlighted the theme in his films like Anbe Sivam and Dasavatharam. He has been thought to be Muslim sounding name, most notably when he was denied preclearance by U.S Customs and Border Protection force authorities at Toronto Pearson International Airportin 2002. In Sanskrit Kamal means “lotus”, but it was rumoured that his name originated with a friend of his father (Yaakob Hassan, a Muslim freedom fighter who was imprisoned along with Kamal’s father by the British).
Haasan said that his last name derives from the Sanskrit word hasya, and although the Yaakob Hassan connection was publicised by the media it was only “a story”. Although he has abstained from politics, Haasan is considered left-leaning or independent and has said that his politics would result in his death within a year.