Actor and Indian political party founder Kamal Haasan has sparked a row, saying post-Partition India’s first “terrorist was a Hindu” – Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi, reported Times of India. Haasan’s comments drew sharp reactions from the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and fellow actors, who slammed him for indulging in “divisive politics”.
Addressing an election campaign on Sunday night, Haasan said he was one of those “proud Indians” who desires an India with equality and where the “three colours” in the tricolour, an obvious reference to different faiths, “remained intact.”
“I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Free India’s first terrorist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (extremism, apparently) starts,” he said.
Haasan said he was a “self-assumed great-grandson” of Gandhi and that he had come here “seeking answers for that murder,” referring to the nation founder’s assassination in 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.
BJP state President Tamilisai Soundararajan said while the whole nation was shocked when Gandhi was killed, none can, however, justify it, and pointed out that Godse was hanged for the “heinous” crime.
She strongly condemned Haasan’s statement and slammed him for using the phrase “Hindu extremism” in a Muslim-dominated area.
“Though he talks of taking forward a new kind of politics, he also indulged in the old, mischievous, poisonous and divisive vote bank politics,” Soundararajan said in a statement.
She said his remarks amounted to inciting “communal violence”.
Actor Vivek Oberoi, on the other hand, shared his two cents on the ongoing controversy. He said that Haasan should not divide the country.
Vivek, who is a vocal supporter of the BJP, was the least bit impressed.
In a Twitter post to the senior actor, Vivek wrote, “Dear Kamal sir, you are a great artiste. Just like art has no religion, terror has no religion either! You can say Godse was a terrorist, why would you specify ‘Hindu’? Is it because you were in a Muslim dominated area looking for votes? Please sir, from a much smaller artiste to a great one, let’s not divide this country, we are one.”
Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.