Aravakurichi: Makkal Needhi Maiyam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan has stoked a possible controversy, saying the first extremist in Independent India was a Hindu. The actor-turned politician was referring to Nathuram Godse who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
"I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Independent India's first extremist (theevravaadi) was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it starts," said Kamal Haasan while campaigning in Tamil Nadu's Karur district at Aravakurichi on Sunday night.
Aravakurichi is one of the four assembly constituencies where bypolls will be held on May 19. Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) has fielded a candidate from that seat.
Standing out of the sunroof of a vehicle, Mr Haasan, 64, said he is the Mahatma's "great-grandson in spirit" and that he came there to question the his assassination.
"Good Indians desire for equality and want the three colours in the tricolour to remain intact. I am a good Indian, will proudly proclaim that," he added.
Earlier, in November 2017, the Tamil mega-star had stoked a row by saying that extremism has infected right-wing groups, provoking a confrontation with the BJP. "In the past, Hindu, right-wing groups would not indulge in violence. They would hold a dialogue with opponents. But now they resort to violence," Mr Haasan said.
The actor launched his party in February last year and fielded candidates in all 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu.
The other superstar, Rajinikanth, who has also joined politics in Tamil Nadu, skipped the mega polls to focus on the 2021 Tamil Nadu elections.