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On Kamal Haasan’s ‘first Hindu terrorist remark’, BJP’s strong objection

Earlier too, Haasan had stoked a row, when in November 2017, he took potshots at what he termed as “Hindu extremism,” which drew condemnation from the BJP and Hindu outfits.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 13, 2019 21:05 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
HIndustan Times, Chennai
Kamal Haasan,terrorist,Hindu terrorist
Makkal Needhi Maiyam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan has stoked a possible controversy, saying free India’s first “terrorist was a Hindu,” referring to Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi.(PTI File Photo)

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan came under fire from the BJP on Monday after his comment that the first terrorist in free India was a Hindu referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. Kamal made this statement while campaigning at Aravakkurichi in a minority dominated area.

Tamil Nadu state BJP President Tamilisai Sounderrajan and other leaders condemned Haasan for associating a community with the assassin of Gandhi.

Haasan who heads the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), made the comment Sunday night while he was campaigning for his party’s candidate S Mohanraj for Aravakkurichi assembly by-poll. “I am one of the proud Indians who want an India with equality where the three colours in the Tricolour flag should remain intact,” he said in an obvious reference to different faiths.

He claimed that he was visiting Aravakkurichias “as a great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi”.

“I am not saying this here (Aravakkurichi) as Muslims are high in numbers. But, I am saying this before the statue of Mahatma Gandhiji. In fact, Independent India’s first terrorist was a Hindu whose name is Nathuram Ghodse. I have come here to get an answer for Gandhiji’s murder,” Haasan said while campaigning.

He soon came under fire from the BJP.

BJP state chief Tamilisai Sounderrarajan said that the MNM leader has no right to label an entire communtiy. “Actor Kamalahasan recalling Gandhi’s assassination now and calling it Hindu terrorism is condemnable. Standing amidst minorities in TN by-election campaign he is lighting a dangerous fire to gain votes by minority appeasement,” Tamilisai said.

She further questioned why the MNM founder did not express any opinion on recent bomb blasts in Sri Lanka while speaking about Gandhi’s murder. But Haasan had reacted to the terror attacks in Sri Lankan and had called for justice.

“He dares to take up decades-old event which was well investigated and guilty punished. He threatened to leave India when his film (Viswaroopam) screening was prevented from being screened by religious groups. But, now he calls himself true Indian. He has started his true political acting now having lost the chances in the screenplay,” Tamilisai charged.

BJP national secretary H Raja said Haasan could hurt Hindus for gaining Muslims’ votes. “MNM is a venomous plant which should be uprooted immediately,” said Raja.

Bollywood actor Vivek Anand Oberoi who played the lead role in the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi also questioned Kamal Haasan’s stance.

“Dear Kamal sir, you are a great artist. Just like art has no religion, terror has no religion either! You can say Ghodse was a terrorist, why would you specify Hindu? Is it because you were in a Muslim dominated area looking for votes? Please sir, from a much smaller artist to a great one, let’s not divide this country, we are one,” Oberoi tweeted.

MNM leader R Rengarajan said Haasan’s remark should not be sensationalised. “The matter should be handled with sense and should not be sensationalised,” Rengarajan told reporters.

Tamilisai however criticised Rengarajan’s statement, “He has violated the poll code of conduct by uttering nonsense on a sensitive subject. Let us hope for EC to handle this as per law of the land against hate speech,” she said.

Tamil Nadu went to polls for 38 of its 39 Lok Sabha seats and 18 assembly by-polls on April 18. The election for the Vellore Lok Sabha seat was cancelled last month after massive cash seizures in raids from a DMK leader’s associate. Bye-elctions for four more assembly seats will be held on May 19 along with the last phase of the LoK Sabha elections.

mal Haasan has stoked a possible controversy, saying free India’s first “terrorist was a Hindu,” referring to Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi.

Addressing an election campaign in Tamil Nadu’s Aravakurichi last night, the actor-politician said he was one of those “proud Indians” who desires an India with equality and where the “three colours” in the tricolour, an obvious reference to different faiths, “remained intact.” “I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Free India’s first terrorist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (terrorism, apparently) starts,” he said.

Haasan said he had come here “seeking answers for that murder,” referring to Gandhi’s assassination in 1948.

“Good Indians desire for equality and want the three colours in the tricolour to remain intact. I am a good Indian, will proudly proclaim that,” he added.

Reacting to Kamal Haasan’s comments, BJP leader Soundararajan in a tweet said recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination now and calling it Hindu terrorism was condemnable. “Standing amidst minorities in TN by-election campaign, he is lighting a dangerous fire to gain votes by minority appeasement. Kamal didn’t opine on recent Sri Lanka bomb blast, why?” Soundararajan tweeted.

“He (Kamal) threatened to leave India when his film (”Vishwaroopam”) screening was prevented by religious groups! But now he calls himself true Indian! True political acting started now having lost the chances in screenplay,” he said.

Earlier too, Haasan had stoked a row, when in November 2017, he took potshots at what he termed as “Hindu extremism,” which drew condemnation from the BJP and Hindu outfits.

Aravakurichi is one of the four Assembly constituencies where bypolls are scheduled on May 19. MNM has fielded S Mohanraj from this segment.

First Published: May 13, 2019 11:20 IST

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