Ending the ‘Career’ before it Blooms
The reactions against the irresponsible statement by Kamal Haasan in TN alone indicate that his overacting in public to appease people for a few votes might have ended his political career before it blooms
TS Venkatesan
Actor Kamal Hassan recently triggered a fresh controversy by saying that Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse was independent India’s first terrorist. The BJP, Sangh associated organisations and the BJP’s allay AIADMK have condemned the remark and complained to the Election Commission in this regard.
Kamal has floated Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), a political outfit with a dream of coming to power banking on his cine popularity among youths. On and off he has been making comments on Hindus and Hindu gods. Aravakurichi is one of the four Assembly constituencies where by-polls are scheduled on May 19. MNM has fielded S Mohanraj from this segment. Campaigning for his party candidate in Aravakurichi in Karur District on May 12, Kamal Haasan said: “The first terrorist of an independent India was a Hindu—Nathuram Godse who shot Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi on January 30, 1948. I have come to question that killing—think about it that way. Gandhi desired an India with equality and where the “three colours” in the tricolour, an obvious reference to different faiths, remained intact. 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.”
This is not the first time he uttered nonsense like this. In November 2017, he kicked off a row, when he took pot-shots at what he termed “Hindu extremism”. It drew flak and brickbats from BJP and Hindu outfits.
Condemning Kamal for his comments, BJP said he has proved he was a novice in Indian history. Only the Muslim invaders perpetrated violence and terrorism in the country. During Gandhi’s days in Nav Kali incident hundreds of innocent Hindus, women were brutally killed by Muslim terrorists in a gruesome manner. Even today all over world major terrorist acts and Muslim go hand in hand. Be it a US twin tower attack and other major blasts, Muslim terror outfits were behind them”.
Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan said: “Though he talks of taking forward a new kind of politics, he also indulged in the old, mischievous, poisonous and divisive vote bank politics.” She said standing amidst minorities in TN by-election campaign, Kamal is lighting a dangerous fire to garner votes by minority appeasement. Referring to the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka which left over 250 dead, Tamilisai asked whether people like Haasan were vocal in discussing the issue “despite being known that perpetrators were Muslims.” Tamilisai also reminded Kamal of the time when he had threatened to leave India in his movie (Vishwaroopam) was not allowed to release in Tamil Nadu. TN BJP has demanded arrest of Kamal Haasan for his remarks. BJP leader H Raja tweeted saying, “This poisonous plant should be nipped in the bud.” He said Haasan is defaming Hindus just for the votes of the Muslim population. TN dairy development AIADMK Minister KT Rajendra Balaji, said Kamal Haasan’s tongue should be cut off for his remarks on Hindu terror.
Kamal Haasan thinks that his move will fetch him votes. But in a state where Dravidian politics is on wane and showing sings on Hindu renaissance, he might have as well shot himself in the foot. A decade ago, such statements would have been welcomed with aplomb. The reactions against his statement from Tamil Nadu alone indicate that his overacting in public to appease people for a few votes might have ended his political career before it blooms. n