Days after triggering a major row with his remark on Nathuram Godse as a “Hindu terrorist”, Kamal Haasan invited another controversy with his statement on the origin of the world ‘Hindu’.
The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief said on Friday that the name ‘Hindu’ was coined by the Mughals. The British, who ruled the nation, “endorsed” that coinage, he said.
“While we have so many of our own identities, it is ignorant to have something given to us by non-native as name and faith,” Haasan said in the statement, which was issued in Tamil.
Haasan said the 12 Alwars (Vaishnavite poet-saints) or the 63 Nayanmars (Saivaite poet-saints) did not mention the word Hindu.
Haasan said it was on the part of commercial politics and spiritualism to restrict “our vast nation into a religion”.
According to Haasan, even though the identity ‘Indian’ is of recent origin, it will live long.
“To put it in layman’s terms, living in harmony has a million benefits,” he said referring to a Tamil saying.
Earlier today, he clarified his ‘Hindu terror’ remark saying that “every religion has its own terrorists and none can claim that they are sanctimonious”.
“History shows that all religions have their extremists,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, men suspected to be members of Hindu Munnani threw eggs and pelted stones at Kamal Hassan while he was on the final leg of campaigning in Aravakurichi assembly constituency.
On Wednesday, slippers were thrown at the MNM chief while campaigning in Thiruparankundram Assembly constituency for his party candidate contesting in May 19 by-election.
The attacks come days after Haasan said that the “first terrorist of independent India was a Hindu” while referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.
Haasan had made the remarks while campaigning in the Aravakurichi assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
On the attacks and accusations, Haasan said that he does not feel threatened adding that he was not afraid of getting arrested.
“I am not afraid of being arrested. Let them arrest me. If they do that it will only create more problems. It is not a warning but only advice,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)