Mr. Kamal Haasan's remark as "independent India's first extremist was a Hindu" has kicked up a controversy that could have been avoided.
The 64-year-old actor, while campaigning in Aravakurichi on Sunday, had said: "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 (theeviravaadi) was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it starts." Mr Haasan's remarks on Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on 30 January 1948 have snowballed into a subject of serious discussion in many states. In the wake of it, he earned the ire of people especially Hindus because this unwanted lose remark was made by Hassan last Sunday in a Muslim dominated place close to Karur town. Only some parties whose members are not nationalists play second fiddle to him. Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi by shooting on his chest three times at point blank range in New Delhi,
Nobody ever thought, Hassan, a man with good credentials and maturity would stoop to such a low level and make a comparison between an extremist and an assassin. An extremist is the one who is well trained to kill lots of people either by going on a shooting spree or becoming a human bomb. He is a religious fanatic who has not understood the essence and moral of his own religion and has no sympathy for fellow humans, including his own people. He is a trigger happy madcap who acts on behalf of another religious fanatic.
Unlike a coward, he himself admitted in the court in 1949 “I do say that my shots were fired at the person whose policy and action had brought rack and ruin and destruction to millions of Hindus,” What he did to Gandhi, who was in his advanced age, was not acceptable and in the following year he was hanged to death on 15 Nov. 1949 at a prison in Ambala. Many critics are of the view that Godse was a Hindu nationalist and a true patriot, and not a fanatic or a devil as he is portrayed in many biased history books. Godse was saddened by Gandhiji's ideology because he thought it would force Hindus toward an emasculating and coward nation. He made a decision to kill Gandhiji and it was a pre-meditated murder of father of the Indian nation. We can not conclude that he killed Gandhiji in a moment of aberration. The fact is he was a patriot driven by wrong misconception and committed this crime, knowing well before hand its consequences. Positively Godse was not an extremist. Nor was he a Hindu fanatic. But, what he did to the old man, a well-known patriot was not a palatable one.
As for Kamal Hassan, his gaffe has created publicity bonanza for him as well as indignation among one section of the society. What made Kamal compare Godse with an extremist, that too during the election time? What recently happened in Sri Lanka is an act of extremism carried out by a group of well-trained extremists. Please read the following questions in the light of Kamal Hassan's disparaging remarks on Godse, who happened to be just an assassin of Gandhi. The investigation finally found out that the RSS and the Hindu Maha Sabha had no links with Gandhiji's assassination.
01. Did Nathram Godse have a criminal record before his assassination of Gandhiji showing him in bad light?
02. Did Godse carry a machine gun and pump countless bullets and shoot other innocent people to death along with Gandhiji?
03. Did Godse become a human bomb and blow himself up before Gandhiji like an extremist and cause destruction murder and mayhem?
04. Is it not true that if a modern-day extremist were in Godse's position he would have killed a whole lot of people and also destroyed or severely damaged the Birla House, the venue of Gandhiji's evening prayer?
05. Did Godse ever join a religious fanatic group and take to violence and killing as a way of life?
06. Why did he hold his hand in supplication in front of him before shooting Gandhiji? Was it not out of respect for the old man? He knew very well that he was not doing the right thing and, at the same time, he had to accomplish his mission.
07. Upon shooting did Godse run away from the scene of crime and be at large evading arrest by the law enforcement?
08. Why did he keep quiet and submit himself peacefully when he was being arrested by the police?
09. Why did he take so much pain to explain to the Court as to his reason for killing Gandhiji?
During political campaigns, responsible political leaders should focus their speech only on their party's policies, etc and must avoid dragging religion, caste, personal life of the contestants, etc. The High Court should come down heavily on those people and parties who, without any inhibition, indulge in blasphemous remarks on religions, any caste, etc. Such explosive and irrelevant speeches aiming at creating a wedge between communities, etc is not conducive to tranquillity and peace in the society. Freedom of speech does not mean insulting and intimidating certain castes to gain political advantage. Only extreme punishment will act as deterrent to such nauseating and disgusting speeches by narrow-minded nethas.
Kamal Hassan's party has come out with a statement: "This (his remark) has been taken absolutely out of context and the speech has been painted as anti-Hindu, with a malafide intent. Responsible politicians should not publicly discuss sensitive and explosive issues and and get entangled in the barrage of criticisms and nasty comments that may follow later.