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Who emboldened Haasan to rake up Gandhi's killing, asks BJP

PTI | Tuticorin | Updated: 15-05-2019 20:09 IST | Created: 15-05-2019 17:58 IST
Who emboldened Haasan to rake up Gandhi's killing, asks BJP
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Keeping up the heat on Kamal Haasan over his "free India's first extremist was a Hindu" remark, the BJP Wednesday said it was not a subject to be spoken on at a public meeting and asked who emboldened him to rake up Gandhi's killing years after it happened. BJP state unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan took a swipe apparently at the Congress for supporting Haasan on the matter, saying that those who lost their leader to extremism were now backing the actor on his controversial statement.

Stoking a controversy, Haasan had on Sunday said that "free India's first extremist was a Hindu", referring to Nathuram Godse, who killed Mahatma Gandhi. "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," he said in by-poll-bound Aravakurichi.

Soundararajan said terror had no religion and questioned why TNCC chief K S Alagiri and Dravidar Kazhagam leader K Veeramani were "celebrating" Haasan's remarks. "First of all, Kamal Haasan should understand that what he is speaking is wrong... we cannot and should not accept extremism in any form," she told reporters here.

"But what is a matter of concern is the support of some political leaders and organisations. Because, one party which has lost its leader to extremism is now speaking in support of the same," she said in an apparent reference to the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber of the banned LTTE at Sriperumbudur near Chennai on May 21, 1991, during an election rally.

Incidentally, India had on Tuesday extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for five years with immediate effect. The BJP leader further sought to know who had emboldened Haasan to rake up the issue now.

"Who emboldened Kamal to rake up Gandhi's killing now and link it with Hindu extremism? This is not a subject to be spoken at a public meeting for a by-poll," Soundararajan said. "Is someone misleading Kamal or directing him or is he himself making such amateur remarks, we don't know," she added.

Reiterating her party's demand that the Election Commission should ban him from campaigning, Soundararajan pointed out at the election body taking similar action against some leaders in northern India. The BJP leader said she had no faith in him as a political leader as he had earlier threatened to leave the country when his film 'Vishwaroopam' faced roadblocks after Muslim groups opposed the portrayal of the community in the movie.

"He should withdraw his remarks," she added. Meanwhile, a Vaishnavite saint also hit out at Haasan for his remarks and threatened to hold protests if the actor-politician continued to make such remarks.

Chendalankara Sampath Kumara Ramanuja Jeeyar of Mannargudi asked if Haasan was hobnobbing with banned Islamist outfits and therefore making such remarks against Hindus. "He is saying such things for his own benefit. He is a good actor and is now acting in public. All Hindus are against him and if he repeats such statements, his free movement will be hindered. We will hold protests against him," he told reporters in Tiruchirappalli.


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