Aravakurichi/New Delhi: A day after actor-politician Kamal Haasan stoked controversy over his ‘independent India’s first extremist was a Hindu’ remark, the BJP lashed out at him saying he was indulging in divisive politics and was showing Hindus in a bad light to appease minorities just like the Congress and Communists.
While addressing a election campaign in Aravakurichi – one of the four Assembly constituencies where bypolls are scheduled on 19 May – the Makkal Needhi Maiam chief said, “I am not saying this because this is a Muslim dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Independent India’s first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it starts.” He further stated that he was Gandhi’s self-assumed great-grandson and had come there to seek answers for Mahatma’s murder.
His remarks drew ire from the BJP State unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan. “The Election Commission should take tough action against Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan for his remarks on ‘Hindu Terror’ at a campaign event,” she said. “Though he talks of taking forward a new kind of politics, he also indulged in the old, mischievous, poisonous and divisive vote bank politics” and his remarks amounted to inciting communal violence, she added.
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “It proves that he does not understand the difference between an assassin and a terrorist. An assassin is very different from a terrorist. Therefore if only he goes through the entire history and also follows up on the trial of Mahatma Gandhi he would know the difference … He is in a hurry to prove that he follows the same line of appeasing minorities for the sake of his newly launched venture.”
K T Rajenthra Bhalaji, Tamilnadu Minister and a senior AIADMK leader, said Kamal acted to garner votes and that his tongue should be cut of for making such a remark. He noted that Extremism had no religion and also sought a ban on Kamal’s party MNM for sowing violence.
However, leaders from Congress and Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) came in support of Haasan. TNCC President K S Alagiri said he agreed with Kamal 1000 percent. DK chief K Veeramani said Godse trained with RSS. “Not just that, even Pragya Singh Thakur is only out on bail, he added. Pragya was BJPs Lok Sabha candidate in Bhopal and an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
Actor Vivek Oberoi condemned Haasans remarks. “Dear Kamal sir, you are a great artist. Just like art has no religion, terror has no religion either! You can say Godse 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, lets not divide this country, we are one Jai Hind..#AkhandBharat #UnDividedIndia,” he tweeted.
In November 2017, Kamal had triggered a controversy when he took potshots at what he termed as Hindu extremism, drawing condemnation from the BJP and Hindu outfits.