CHENNAI: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s remarks that free India’s first “terrorist was a Hindu” has evoked a mixed response. While the BJP leaders criticised him, Congress and Dravida Kazhagam leaders supported Haasan and said he is justified in making such a statement.
Haasan, who is president of Makkal Needhi Maiam, was campaigning in Aravakurichi assembly constituency on Sunday, for the party’s bypoll candidate when he made the statements.
“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.
“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 said.
TNCC president KS Alagiri, speaking to reporters on Monday said, “The BJP is destroying the country’s harmony through RSS, Jansangh and Hindu Maha Sabha. The RSS’s actions are just similar to what ISIS is doing among Muslims. I agree with what Kamal Haasan said 1000 per cent.”
BJP leader H Raja tweeted saying, “This poisonous plant should be nipped in the bud.” He said Haasan is defaming Hindus just for the votes of the Muslim population.
K Veeramani, president of Dravidar Kazhagam, said, “BJP has even now chosen Pragya Singh Thakur (an accused in a terrorist bomb blast case) as its candidate in Madhya Pradesh. They (BJP) have been supporting terrorism from the beginning.” Both the leaders were responding to queries from reporters on Haasan’s statement.
While other political parties maintained silence on the issue, the BJP leaders heavily criticised Haasan. BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit president Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan said Haasan’s statements amount to “inciting communal violence.”
While she agreed that the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi cannot be justified, she said Kamal’s statement is merely aimed at vote bank politics.
“Though he talks of taking forward a new kind of politics, he is indulging in the old, mischievous, poisonous and divisive vote bank politics,” she said in her statement on Monday.
BJP submits petition to EC
The BJP’s legal wing state president R Soundararajan has submitted a petition with the Chief Electoral Officer, urging action against the actor for his remarks