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Dispute over Kamal Haasan’s ‘India’s first terrorist a Hindu’ remark

Dispute over Kamal Haasan’s ‘India’s first terrorist a Hindu’ remark: On Sunday, Kamal Haasan said at a campaign event that Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was independent India’s first terrorist. Kamal Haasan who is the leader of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), was campaigning in Avarakurichi with his party’s candidate S Mohanraj for the bypoll on May 19.

He claimed that he was visiting Aravakkurichias “as a great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi”.

“I am not saying this here (Aravakkurichi) as Muslims are high in numbers. But, I am saying this before the statue of Mahatma Gandhiji. In fact, Independent India’s first terrorist was a Hindu whose name is Nathuram Ghodse. I have come here to get an answer for Gandhiji’s murder,” Haasan said while campaigning.

He further added, “I’ve come to question that killing — think about it that way. Good Indians wanted India to be equal and peaceful and have ‘all three colours’ of the tricolour. I am a good Indian.”

This statement brought Kamal Haasan under fire from the BJP. Tamil Nadu state BJP President Tamilisai Sounderrajan and other leaders condemned Haasan for associating a community with the assassin of Gandhi.

BJP state chief Tamilisai Sounderrarajan said that the MNM leader has no right to label an entire community. “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,” Tamilisai said.

Tamilisai Soundararajan, the BJP’s leader in Tamil Nadu tweeted, “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 Sri Lanka bomb blast, why?…But dares to take up [a] decades-old event which was well-enquired & guilty punished?”

She further said, “He dares to take up decades-old event which was well investigated and guilty punished. He threatened to leave India when his film (Viswaroopam) screening was prevented from being screened by religious groups. But, now he calls himself true Indian. He has started his true political acting now having lost the chances in the screenplay,”

BJP national secretary H Raja said, “MNM is a venomous plant which should be uprooted immediately,”

MNM leader R Rengarajan said Haasan’s remark should not be sensationalised. Rengarajan told reporters, “The matter should be handled with sensitivity and should not be sensationalised.”

Tamilisai, however, criticised Rengarajan’s statement, “He has violated the poll code of conduct by uttering nonsense on a sensitive subject. Let us hope for EC to handle this as per the law of the land against hate speech.”