Makkal Needhi Maiyam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan has kicked up a row by calling Nathuram Godse as “free India’s first terrorist who was a Hindu”.
Addressing an election campaign at Aravakurichi in Tamil Nadu on Sunday night, the actor-politician said he was one of those “proud Indians” who desired an India with equality and where the “three colours” in the Tricolour, an obvious reference to different faiths, “remained intact.”
He said, “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.”
Mr. Haasan said he had come here “seeking answers for that murder.” He added,“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.”
In November 2017, Mr. Haasan stoked a row, when he took potshots at what he termed “Hindu extremism.” It drew condemnation from the BJP and Hindu outfits.
Aravakurichi is one of the four Assembly constituencies in the State where bypolls are scheduled on May 19. The MNM has fielded S. Mohanraj from this segment. This amounts to inciting communal violence, says Tamilisai
BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan said while the whole nation was shocked when Gandhi was killed, none can, however, justify it, and pointed out that Godse was hanged for the “heinous” crime. She said it was “strongly condemnable” that Mr. Haasan used the phrase “Hindu extremism” in a Muslim-dominated area.
“Though he talks of taking forward a new kind of politics, he also indulged in the old, mischievous, poisonous and divisive vote bank politics,” Dr. Soundararajan said in a statement. She said his remarks amounted to inciting “communal violence“.
In an apparent reference to the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka which left over 250 dead, Dr. Soundararajan asked whether persons like Mr. Haasan were vocal in discussing the issue “despite being known that perpetrators were Muslims.”
“Therefore such persons’ campaigning should be banned. The police should take action since there is an effort to create tension,” she added.