Makkal Needhi Maiyam founder Kamal Haasan's tongue should be cut off for saying that free India's "first extremist was a Hindu", Tamil Nadu Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji said Monday. Bhalaji, a senior AIADMK leader, also sought a ban on MNM for "sowing violence" and demanded that the Election Commission of India act against Haasan. "His tongue should be cut of…he has said (free India's first extremist) was a Hindu. Extremism has no religion, neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian," the State Minister for Milk and Dairy Development told reporters in Tuticorin and accused Haasan of "acting" to garner minority votes.
"He is acting and making such remarks to garner minority votes...," he said.
Bhalaji, known for his outspoken remarks on various issues, charged the actor-politician with "spewing venom," and accused the latter of making such comments to "satisfy someone." "Why are you spewing venom. Every word (Haasan utters) is venom. Haasan's party which is sowing violence should be bannned and the Election Commission should act against him," he said.
Earlier, Haasan had stoked a controversy by saying free India's first "extremist was a Hindu" – Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi. His remarks drew condemnation from the BJP which accused him of indulging in "divisive politics" but found the backing of the Congress and Dravidar Kazhagam. Addressing an election campaign in bypoll-bound Aravakurichi Sunday night, Haasan had said he was one of those "proud Indians" who desires an India of 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 extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (extremism, apparently) starts," he had said.
Aravakurichi is one of the four Assembly constituencies where bypolls are scheduled on May 19. MNM has fielded S Mohanraj from this segment.