Kamal Haasan (File Photo)
Referring to his remark about Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse being a Hindu terrorist, actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said what he spoke in Aravakurichi was “historic truth”. Haasan clarified that he did not use term the 'terrorist' when talking about Nathuram Godse.
"They got angry for what I spoke at Aravakurichi. What I spoke (there) is historic truth. I did not lure anyone to a brawl," he said during a by-poll campaign at Tirupurankundram. He said truth would triumph like the "historic truth I mentioned."
"Understand the meaning for the word extremist. I could have used the word terrorist or murderer (against Godse)... Ours is active politics, there won't be any violence," he said while resorting to wordplay in Tamil to drive home his point.
The MNM leader alleged his speech was edited selectively and took a dig at his detractors, saying the charges levelled against him "apply to my media friends also."
He asked if his critics could show instances of his remarks that could incite violence and said the accusations against him had hurt him.
"They are saying I hurt Hindu sentiments. There are so many Hindus in my family. My daughter is a believer," he said.
Stoking a controversy, Haasan had said on Sunday 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 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 in bypoll-bound Aravakurichi.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court declined to entertain a PIL which referred to Haasan’s remark about Mahatma Gandhi's assassin being a Hindu terrorist and had sought directions to the Election Commission (EC) to "restrict" misuse of religion for poll gains.
BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay was the remarks by Haasan which was made outside the jurisdiction of the high court here and therefore, it cannot hear it.
The court, however, asked the EC to expeditiously decide Upadhyay's representation against Haasan's remark.
The petition, filed by Upadhyay, has also sought debarring of candidates and deregistration of parties that "misuse" religion for electoral gains.
Upadhyay, also a lawyer, has alleged that Haasan "deliberately" made the statement in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain.
The petition contends that this was clearly a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951.
Haasan, the president of Makkal Needhi Maiam, had in an election rally speech for his party candidate on Sunday termed Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse as independent India's first "Hindu terrorist".
He had made the comment while speaking at an election rally for his party candidate in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency, where by-polls will be held on May 19, the petition has said.
"As per Model Code of Conduct, no party or candidate can indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. Similarly, there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
In his plea, Upadhyay has also sought a direction to the EC to refer to respective investigation agencies the complaints relating to misuse of religion, race, caste, community and language by contesting candidates and political office bearers for electoral gain.
On the other hand, the Madras High Court refused to entertain a petition by Haasan seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him over his "free India's first extremist was a Hindu" remark.
Justice B Pugalendhi of the Madurai Bench said such pleas cannot be taken up as emergent petitions during the vacation.
However, the judge said if an anticipatory bail application was filed, then it could be taken up for hearing.