Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan landed in a major controversy by saying that the first terrorist in independent India was a Hindu, referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse.

Haasan 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.

Nathuram Vinayak Godse shot Mahatma Gandhi dead in New Delhi on 30 January 1948.

“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 added.

Reacting to Haasan’s remarks, BJP’s leader in Tamil Nadu Tamilisai Soundararajan accused the actor-turned-politician of appeasing minorities.

“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. Kamal didn’t opine on recent Srilanka bomb blast why?” she tweeted.

“But dares to take up decades old event which was well enquired & guilty punished ?He threatened to leave india when his film screening was prevented by religious groups!but now he calls himself true indian! True political acting started now having lost the chances in screenplay,” added Soundararajan, referring to the 2013 controversy surrounding a ban on Haasan’s film Vishwaroopam.

 

Haasan had, however, tweeted about the Sri Lanka blasts on April 21, calling on the island nation’s government to be “impartial and swift in rendering Justice”.

 

Actor Vivek Oberoi, too, responded to Haasan’s remarks asking if he had specified that Godse was a Hindu to get Muslim votes.

“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? @ikamalhaasan,” he tweeted.

 

(Photo: Twitter/@vivekoberoi)

 

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.

Aravakurichi is one of the four Assembly constituencies where bypolls are scheduled on 19 May. MNM has fielded S Mohanraj from this segment.