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Panned for Nathuram Godse terrorist remark, Kamal Haasan’s party has an explanation

Kamal Haasan came under fire from the BJP and Hindu outfits for the comment saying first terrorist in free India was a Hindu. MNM said Haasan called for “religious tolerance and co-existence”.

india Updated: May 15, 2019 15:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Makkal Needhi Maiam,MNM Party,Nathuram Godse
Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan(PTI file photo)

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party has gone into a damage control mode as it tried to explain its boss’ comments on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Ghodse.

Kamal Haasan had come came under fire from the BJP and Hindu outfits after he said that the first terrorist in free India was a Hindu in a reference to Nathuram Ghodse. Haasan made the comment on Sunday night while campaigning for his party’s candidate S Mohanraj for the Aravakkurichi assembly by-poll.

On Wednesday, MNM said Kamal Haasan was calling for “religious tolerance and co-existence”.

“This has been taken absolutely out of context and the speech has been painted as anti -Hindu with a malafide intent. This has created complete confusion and utmost anxiety amongst many common citizens who are not privy to this larger conspiracy,” the MNM said, according to news agency ANI.

“He was calling for religious tolerance and co-existence amongst all religious groups and condemned extremism in whichever form and religion,” the party added.

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Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948, in New Delhi.

Police stepped up security at Kamal Hassan’s Alwarpet residence in Chennai after the controversy and the MNM leader cancelled his scheduled campaigns supposed to be held in Aravakkurichi and Ottapidaram on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

Tamil Nadu had gone to polls for 38 Lok Sabha seats and 18 assembly by-polls on April 18. Voting for four more assembly by-polls will be held on May 19 along with the last phase of the national election.

First Published: May 15, 2019 12:09 IST