The Tamil Nadu police Tuesday filed an FIR against actor-politician Kamal Haasan for his controversial "free India's first extremist was a Hindu" remarks referring to Nathuram Godse, as saffron organisations moved the courts in Delhi against the actor-politician.
Makkal Needhi Maiyam and a Minister who wanted the actor's tongue to be chopped off for his remarks entered into a war of words, even as the MNM chief found support from Asaduddin Owaisi, the firebrand AIMIM leader.
"The one who killed Mahatma Gandhi, whom we regard as Father of the Nation, what do we call him? We call him Mahatma or 'rakshas' (demon)?Call him terrorist or assassin?" he said. "If not calling the person who killed Bapu as terrorist, what else will you call him?" he told reporters at Hyderabad.
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 said in bypoll-bound Aravakurichi. BJP and AIADMK condemned him for his remarks, though Congress and rationalist outfit Dravidar Kazhagam backed him.
Police in Aravakurichi in Karur district filed the FIR under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code,which deal with 'outraging religious feelings' and 'promoting enmity between different groups', respectively. A Karur police release also warned of stringent action against those inciting violence in the name of religion, caste, language and race. In Delhi, two separate cases were filed against Haasan.
Moving a PIL before the bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani of the Delhi High Court, BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay sought directions to the EC to "restrict" misuse of religion for poll gains. Upadhyay, also a lawyer, alleged Haasan "deliberately" made the statement in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gains.
The petition contended this was "clearly a corrupt practice under Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951." "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.
"Haasan has violated the Model Code of Conduct in addition to Section 123(3) of the RPA 1951.Kamal Haasan is deliberately promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and brotherhood,which is an offence under section 153A of IPC. It is a deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of millions of Hindus, which is an offence under section 295A IPC," it claimed.
It also said that despite the alleged misuse of religion for electoral gain by Haasan, the EC has not done anything in this regard yet. The bench allowed the plea to be listed for hearing on Wednesday before an appropriate bench.