In remarks that could put him on a warpath with right-wing outfits and political leaders, Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan has termed Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as independent India’s first terrorist. “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 (terrorism, apparently) starts,” news agency PTI quoted Haasan as saying.
Addressing an election rally in Tamil Nadu’s Aravakurichi on Sunday, Haasan further said that he is among the proud Indians who desire equality in India and where the three colours in the tricolour remain intact. Haasan was campaigning in support of S Mohanraj for the bypolls which will be held on May 19. Muslims are a majority among the electorate in the constituency.
Referring to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, Haasan said he was here to “seek answers for that murder”. In the course of his address, Haasan clarified that he was not making these remarks because the area was Muslim-dominated and pointed to Gandhi’s statue behind him to justify his assertion.
Haasan’s comments have put him in the crosshairs with his opponents yet again. Haasan had stoked controversy earlier in 2017 too when he drew widespread condemnation from BJP and right-wing outfits for his references to “Hindu terrorism”. Haasan had said that Hindu outfits had started to employ extremists to further their agenda.
Having stayed away from politics for a long time, Haasan finally took the political plunge in February last year when announced his political party MNM. He has been critical of the AIADMK and the DMK, the two reigning political powerhouses in the state and has positioned his party as an alternative for the people of Tamil Nadu.