FIR lodged against Kamal Haasan in Tamil Nadu for calling Nathuram Godse India’s first Hindu terrorist

An FIR was lodged against actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan in Tamil Nadu’s Aravakurichi on Tuesday for calling assassin Nathuram Godse India’s first Hindu terrorist. Godse, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, had shot dead Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. According to a media report, a case was registered under various sections of the penal code for outraging religious feelings and promoting enmity between different groups against the actor. The report further said that Karur district police have also warned of strong action against people inciting violence in the name of religion, caste, language and race.

Haasan’s remark at a public rally last week has sparked a major political controversy, which is apparently refusing to die down. Haasan, who’s president of his newly founded political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), had made the remarks while addressing a gathering in support of his party candidate in Aravakurichi, where a by-poll will be held on May 19. The remarks drew strong condemnation from BJP and the AIADMK.

Slamming the actor, Tamil Nadu Minister and AIADMK leader K.T. Rajendra Balaji said the actor’s tongue should be cut off for making such a remark. Balaji said the MNM leader cannot blame the entire Hindu community for the act of one person. He claimed that the actor said that to gain Muslim votes. The minister had also urged the Election Commission to ban MNM and take strong action against the actor. Actor Vivek Oberoi, who plays the lead role in the PM Modi biopic, also criticised Haasan for labelling Godse as a Hindu terrorist. He asked if the comments were to garner Muslim sympathy.

However, not all politicians were angry at him for the remarks. Haasan found support from the Congress Party. Tamil Nadu Congress chief K.S. Alagiri likened the Hindu Nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which Godse was affiliated, with Islamist terror group ISIS. The Indian Express reported that a complaint was also filed against the actor in a Delhi court seeking his prosecution for hurting religious sentiments with the terrorist remarks. The Metropolitan Magistrate’s court is likely to list the case for hearing on May 16. 

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