Actor-politician Kamal Haasan spoke to the media this morning, following the raging row over his remark that Godse was the first Hindu terrorist of independent India. Kamal said every religion has terrorists, and that he had not incited unrest with his speech. He maintained that his speech had been taken out of context, and that unrest was created to promote enmity.
“I have said the same thing at the Marina (during Lok Sabha election campaigning), but it is being taken note of only now by those whose confidence is dipping,” he said. “Let me tell you terrorists abound in all religions. Every religion has its own terrorists and we cannot claim that we are sanctimonious, and we have not done that. History shows you that all religions have extremists.”
When asked if he was reaching out to the Muslims at Aravakurichi with his comment during Sunday’s campaign, he said, “Sure, yes. And, why not? I will reach out to the Muslim community, to the Christian community and the Hindu community.”
Meanwhile, there was mild tension at a rally Kamal was addressing yesterday at Aravakurichi when eggs and stones were hurled on stage. He was later taken to safety, and workers of his party Makkal Needhi Maiam roughed up two persons suspected to have thrown the stones, before police took them away for questioning. The incident took place a day after a slipper was hurled towards a vehicle from which Kamal was addressing a rally in Tirupparankundram Assembly constituency.
Yesterday, the Madurai bench of the Madras High reserved orders on Kamal’s petition seeking anticipatory bail in connection with a case registered against him in Karur district for ‘deliberate intention to outrage religious feelings’ and ‘promotion of enmity between religious groups’. The court will view the video of his campaign speech at Aravakurichi before hearing his plea for bail.
The Delhi court has also taken cognisance of a complaint against the actor-politician filed by Hindu Sena member Vishnu Gupta, who moved the court on grounds that Kamal had hurt Hindu religious sentiments.
Kamal told the media this morning, “I don’t fear arrest, but I have got campaigning to do. Let them arrest… but if they arrest me, tensions will escalate. This is not a request, but a piece of advice.”
Speaking about the Coimbatore police denying him permission to campaign in Sulur Assembly constituency, Kamal said the move was not justified. “It’s a crucial part of my campaign. If they Government feels there is a law and order issue or some tension, the by-polls in Sulur should probably be postponed.”
Asked about the non-support from the film industry in the last few days, the actor said: “They might have different opinions about this.” His friend and Actor-politician Rajinikanth had refused to comment on the issue. However, Vivek Oberoi, who stars in the biopic on Modi that releases this month, has condemned Kamal Haasan.