Kamal defends Hindu extremist comment, calls it historic truth

Madurai: “They got angry for what I spoke at Aravakurichi. What I spoke (there) is historic truth. I did not lure anyone to a brawl,” said Kamal Haasan during a by-poll campaign at Tirupurankundram near Madurai yesterday.

After his statement on Sunday stoked nation-wide controversy, Aravakurichi police filed an FIR against the Makkal Needhi Maiam chief under Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code. Kamal moved an anticipatory bail petition before the Madras High Court bench after it refused to Accept his earlier petition of quashing the FIR against him.

The MNM also filed complaints with police in Chennai and Tiruchirappalli against Milk and Dairy Development Minister KT Rajendira Bhalaji for saying that Kamal’s tongue should be cut off for his remarks.

Kamal on his behalf defended his statement. He said truth would triumph like the historic truth I mentioned and not caste and religion. He clarified that he could have used the word terrorist or murderer while referring to Godse. He further alleged that the media had edited his speech selectively.

He said there were so many Hindus in my family and that even his daughter is a believer and he wouldn’t make remarks that could hurt them. Rather than tolerance towards each other, there should be a concept of co-existence, said referring to the minorities.

“To insult me, don’t harp on my ideology, you will lose. Because honesty is the basis of my ideology which you don’t have. You have made lies your basis and building a castle upon that.. you may be anywhere, whether in Delhi or Chennai, you can’t fool people for long by saying lies,” he said.

A group of people tried to barge into Kamal’s public meeting at Tirupurankundram and raised slogans but were detained by the police.

Meanwhile, MNM Vice President R Mahendran said Kamal’s speech was taken completely out of context with a malafide intent and view to promote enmity among people and for the ulterior benefits of such groups.”

“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,” Mahendran added.

Justice B Pugalendhi of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court said pleas for quashing the FIR against Haasan cannot be taken up as emergent petitions during the vacation. However, the judge said if an anticipatory bail application was filed, then it could be taken up for hearing. Haasan later moved the anticipatory bail plea, saying his speech was about Godse only and not about Hindus as a whole. In his plea, he said the offence quoted in the First Informaton Report under Sections 153(A) and 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code required procedural safety under CrPC and the same had been overlooked.

In another development, the Delhi High Court declined to entertain the PIL for action against Kamal’s remark and seeking directions to the Election Commission to restrict misuse of religion for poll gains.

BJP, meanwhile, said it was not a subject to be spoken on at a public meeting and asked who emboldened him to rake up Mahatma Gandhi’s killing years after it happened. BJP state unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan alleged the Congress was supporting Haasan. She said  those who lost their leader to extremism were now backing the MNM chief over his controversial statement.

A Vaishnavite saint hit out at Haasan for his remarks and threatened to hold protests if he continued to make such remarks.

Speaking to reporters in Tiruchirappalli, Chendalankara Sampath Kumara Ramanuja Jeeyar of Mannargudi said, “He is saying such things for his own benefit. He is a good actor, and is now acting in public. All Hindus are against him and if he repeats such statements, his free movement will be hindered. We will hold protests against him.” He further questioned whether Kamal was hobnobbing with banned Islamist outfits and therefore making such remarks against Hindus.

NT Bureau