New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday moved the Election Commission of India demanding a five-day ban on Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president Kamal Haasan over his controversial ‘Hindu extremism’ remark. If reports are to be believed, BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay has filed the complaint against the actor-turned-politician.
Addressing an election rally for his party candidate in Aravakurichi assembly constituency, where bypolls will be held on May 19 , Haasan had stoked a controversy saying that free India’s first ‘extremist was a Hindu’ — Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi.
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“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 extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (extremism, apparently) starts,” the MNM chief had stated.
His comments drew sharp reaction from the state BJP, which slammed him for indulging in ‘divisive politics’.
Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan had lambasted Haasan saying,” Haasan remarks amounted to inciting communal violence.” She added,”Though he talks of taking forward a new kind of politics, he also indulged in the old, mischievous, poisonous and divisive vote bank politics.”
Referring to the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lank which claimed lives of over 250 people last month, Soundararajan asked if persons like Haasan were vocal in discussing the issue “despite being known that perpetrators were Muslims.”
She alleged that the MNM chief remarks in a Muslim-dominated area were ‘mischievous and agenda-driven.’ “Therefore such persons’ campaigning should be banned. The police should take action since there is an effort to create tension,” the TN BJP chief demanded.
Actor Vivek Oberoi, who played Narendra Modi in a biopic on the prime minister also slammed Haasan’s remarks, saying both art and terror ‘have no religion’ and asked if Godse’s faith was mentioned to corner Muslim votes.
“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?,” he said in a tweet.