Independent India’s first terrorist was a Hindu: Kamal Hassan

Published : May 13, 2019 15:58 IST

The actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Hassan kicked off a political storm by saying that Independent India’s first terrorist was a Hindu. “I am not saying this because this is an area dominated by Muslims. I am saying this in front of the Gandhi statue. Independent India’s first terrorist is a Hindu. His name, Nathuram Godse. I am Gandhi’s grandson at heart. I have come to seek justice for that murder. You may take it that way,” he said while campaigning for his candidate in Aravakurichi, a constituency where Muslims have a predominant presence, for the May 19 byelection.

The Bharatiya Janata Party sought a variety of actions against him for this comment, notwithstanding the fact that Godse was sentenced to death and hanged for the crime. The BJP spokesperson in Tamil Nadu T. Narayanan wanted a police case to be filed against Kamal Hassan. The party’s State chief Tamilisai Soundararajan raised questions about the actor-politician’s moral character and asked how he could say he was a grandson of Gandhi. The BJP immediately approached the Election Commission and demanded a five-day ban on campaign by Kamal Hassan, media reports said.

Vivek Oberoi, who plays Narendra Modi in a yet-to-be-released biopic on the Prime Minister, sought to question Kamal: “Dear Kamal sir, you are a great artist. 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?” Oberoi is one of the star campaigners for the BJP in Gujarat.

Another actor, Kasturi Shankar, who has featured in movies with Kamal Hassan, hedged her bets on the issue: “I am a big supporter of Mr #KamalHaasan in many of his ideas. I am not however a fan of his playing to the galleries. In a nation full of divisive politics, his positive politicking was a breath of fresh air. Very sad that he too has stooped to selective name calling,” she posted on Twitter.

Almost all BJP supporters on Twitter questioned Kamal Hassan’s credentials to talk about the issue.

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