NEW DELHI: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Monday courted controversy calling Nathuram Godse, the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, as the first Hindu terrorist in independent India, remarks that drew criticism from BJP leaders and Hindu outfits.
However, he got support from RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who said Godse was “much more” than a terrorist.
“I am not saying this because many Muslims are here. I am saying this in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue. The first terrorist in independent India is a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse,” Haasan said while campaigning in Tamil Nadu’s Aravakurichi assembly constituency for the by-election.
He further expressed his wish for an India with equality and said, “I am a grandson of Gandhi and I am here to ask a question about that murder. This should be an equal India and the colours in our flag must be in the same proportion, this is the wish of every good Indian”.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh who himself makes controversial statements slammed Haasan for his statement stating that he had started speaking in Congress’ language and alleged that he was trying to falsely accuse Hindus.
“Kamal Haasan has joined the league of Naseeruddin Shah and other people who speak in the language of Congress. The ones who invented terms like Hindu terror, saffron terror. Hindus give food and water to even ants and trees, his statement is pathetic,” Singh said in Patna.
Actor Vivek Oberoi, a “star campaigner” of the BJP, also criticised Haasan and tweeted, “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?”
President of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad, Mahant Narendra Giri, joined Oberoi in the denunciation and suggested Haasan gets treated while adding that Godse cannot be termed a terrorist.
“Who will tell Kamal Haasan that a Hindu can never be a terrorist. Hindus don’t have a mentality or culture to hurt or kill anyone. Wrong accusations have been put on some people, but no Hindu has ever been arrested for terrorism. Nathu Ram Godse doesn’t fall under the category of a terrorist. Kamal Hassan should get himself treated and should study about the community that he belongs to”, Giri told ANI.
Shiv Sena, an ally of the BJP, also joined the attack on Hassan saying his theory is a “flop story” and a “useless statement”.
“Kamal Hassan is a very good actor. But his theory (on Nathuram Godse) is a flop story. People do not have sympathy for Godse. Hindus will not tolerate it when their religion is linked with terrorism. There is no difference between Kamal Haasan and Digvijaya Singh. It is a useless statement just to gain publicity,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.