Controversy boiled over Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief and actor Kamal Haasan’s comment that the country’s first extremist was a Hindu while referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.
The remark has attracted a controversial response from Tamil Nadu Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji who said Haasan’s tongue should be cut off for making the statement.
“His tongue should be cut off..he has said (free India’s first extremist) was a Hindu. Extremism has no religion, neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian,” the State Minister for Milk and Dairy Development was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
Haasan had made the remarks while campaigning in the Aravakurichi assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
“I am not saying this because many Muslims are here. I’m saying this in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue. First terrorist in independent India is a Hindu – his name is Nathuram Godse,” Haasan said.
Haasan said that he is “seeking answers for that murder”, referring to Gandhi’s assassination in 1948.
Bhalaji, a senior AIADMK leader, also sought a ban on Kamal Haasan’s party for “sowing violence”.
“Why are you spewing venom. Every word (Haasan utters) is venom. Haasan’s party which is sowing violence should be banned and the Election Commission should act against him,” he added.
BJP leader in Tamil Nadu Tamilisai Soundararajan accused the actor-turned-politician of appeasing minorities.
Actor Vivek Oberoi, too, responded to Haasan’s remarks asking if he had specified that Godse was a Hindu to get Muslim votes.
Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday moved the Election Commission seeking a five-day ban on Haasan.
BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who filed the complaint, said that Haasan’s statement was intended to outrage religious feelings of Hindus and also breached the Model Code of Conduct.
This is not the first time Haasan issued a ‘Hindu terror’ remark. In November 2017, he took potshots at what he termed as “Hindu extremism”, which drew condemnation from the BJP and Hindu outfits.