CHENNAI: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday sparked a fresh controversy by saying that independent India's first terrorist was a 'Hindu' and he was Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse. The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder made the statement while speaking at an election rally for his party candidate in Aravakurichi assembly constituency, which is scheduled to witness bypoll on May 19. Haasan also stressed that his statement labelling Godse as a terrorist was not meant to appease the Muslims in the constituency.
“Independent India’s first terrorist was a Hindu. His name is Nathuram Godse. “I’m not saying this because this is a locality with a sizeable Muslim population, I’m saying this in front of a Gandhi statue,” said Haasan. The MNM chief added that he is the great-grandson of Gandhi in his conscience. “I am here to question that murder today. Consider it that way,” he said.
Kamal Haasan during campaigning in Aravakurichi assembly constituency, Tamil Nadu, yesterday: "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." pic.twitter.com/LSDaNfOVK0
— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2019
Expressing his wish for a diverse and equal India, Haasan said that all Indians want that the three colours in our national flag remain intact. “The true wish of all good Indians is that all three colours of our flag remain intact and they are. I am a good Indian and I can beat my chest and say this,” Haasan remarked. In November 2017 too, Haasan had stoked a row, when he talked about "Hindu extremism," much to the chagrin of the BJP and Hindu outfits.
MNM, which translates to “Centre for People’s Justice” in English, was launched by Kamal Haasan on February 21, 2018. MNM is now a registered party with the Election Commission of India and has got "Battery Torch" as the symbol for the upcoming elections. Shortly after the EC has allotted 'Battery Torch' symbol to MNM, Haasan had thanked the poll panel, saying the party aims to be the 'torch-bearer' for a new era in Tamil Nadu and country's politics.
"MNM thanks the Election Commission for granting us the "Battery Torch" symbol for the forthcoming elections. So appropriate. @maiamofficial will endeavour to be the “Torch-Bearer” for a new era in TN and Indian politics," he had tweeted.