Chennai: In remarks that may again put him on a collision course with Right-wing politicians, Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan described Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as independent India’s first terrorist.
Speaking at an election rally for his party candidate in Aravakurichi assembly constituency, where bypolls will be held on Sunday, Haasan clarified that his statement was not meant to appeal to the Muslim-majority electorate in the constituency.
“I am not saying this because many Muslims are here. I'm saying this in front of Gandhi's statue. The first terrorist post India's independence is a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse,” the actor-turned-politician reportedly said.
At the rally in support of S Mohanraj, Haasan also said that Tamil Nadu is on the verge of a “political revolution” against the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK.
“They failed to mitigate the suffering of the people. The two Dravidian parties will never come clean and won’t learn from their mistakes,” The Hindu quoted Haasan as saying.
Haasan 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."
Haasan said he had come here "seeking answers for that murder," referring to Gandhi's assassination in 1948. "Good Indians desire equality and want the three colours in the tricolour to remain intact. I am a good Indian, will proudly proclaim that," he added.
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.
Reacting to Haasan’s statement, the BJP said he is lighting a “dangerous fire”.
“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.kamal didn’t opine on recent Srilanka bomb blast why? (sic),” Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan tweeted.
“But dares to take up decades old event which was well enquired & guilty punished ?He threatened to leave india when his film screening was prevented by religious groups!but now he calls himself true indian! True political acting started now having lost the chances in screenplay. (sic),” she added.
Also criticising the veteran actor was Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, who will be seen essaying the role of Narendra Modi in a biopic based on the PM.
“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?” Oberoi said.