After Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan stirred a controversy with his remarks on Godse, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has approached Tamil Nadu’s Chief Electoral Officer, Sathyabrata Sahoo, to complain against his election speech.
“Today we, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, complained to the TN Chief election officer Sathyabrata Sahoo against Kamal Hassan. We condemn the speech of Kamal Haasan. He spoke just to get votes. The Tamil Nadu government should take steps.”A R Ravi, President, VHP Chennai
On Wednesday, 15 May, Haasan filed an anticipatory bail petition before the Madras High Court, saying his speech was about Nathuram Godse only and not about Hindus as a whole, reported PTI.
Earlier on Wednesday, he had clarified his stance saying he was misquoted and he will not speak anything to hurt the Hindu sentiments.
FIR Against Haasan
An FIR had been registered against Haasan over his “free India’s first extremist was a Hindu” remark on Sunday, 12 May.
At an election rally, he had said, “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.”
Haasan’s move came after the High Court Bench in Madurai refused to entertain his petition seeking to quash the FIR, saying such pleas cannot be taken up as emergent petitions during the vacation. It had added that if an anticipatory bail application was filed it could be taken up for hearing, reported PTI.
In his plea, Haasan said the offence quoted in the first information report (FIR) under Sections 153(A) and 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code required procedural safety under CrPC and the same had been overlooked.
He added the complainant had not personally witnessed his election campaign meeting and it had been clearly stated in the FIR.
“It is only based on hearsay and the source of information of the content of the FIR was not disclosed and the apprehensions expressed in the FIR were ill-founded. The FIR instead of establishing communal harmony had only created a life threat to the petitioner personally,” the MNM chief submitted in his anticipatory bail application.
Haasan Issues Clarification
Speaking at an election rally at Tamil Nadu’s Thoppur, he said, “People are angry about what I spoke in Aravakurichi. What I told there is historical truth and it has been misquoted out of context…I will not speak anything that will hurt the sentiments of Hindu religion because I have members in my own family who follow the religion. My daughter, sister pray to Hindu Gods.”
On Wednesday, Haasan also attempted to steer clear of the attack launched against him, which suggested that he made the comment in order to attract Muslim votes.
“Will support of just one community be enough in my political journey? Can anyone show that I have spoken in a discriminatory manner against any religion or community? People of different caste, community and religion fall under the same umbrella of people and I do not discriminate against any of them,” he said, adding that peaceful co-existence of all religions is important.
He also made a reference to one of his movies, suggesting what he meant by his earlier comment. “People who don’t understand the context of the message I said on Nathuram Godse please watch my movie Hey Ram! It says the same message 20 years back,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI.)