NEW DELHI: Indian actor and political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan has sparked a row, saying post-Partition Indias first terrorist was a Hindu Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi, reported Times of India.
Haasans 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, Haasan said he was one of those proud Indians who desires an India with equality and where the three colours in the tricolour, an obviousreference 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 Indias 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 founders assassination in 1948.
Good Indians desire forequality 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.
Shestrongly condemned Haasans 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.