CHENNAI: A day after Kamal Haasan said in his column in a Tamil magazine, which hit the stands on Thursday, that right-wing Hindus have moved from engaging in debates to employing terrorism to propagate their agenda, a case was filed against the actor in Varanasi on Friday.
Haasan has been booked under Sections 500 (punishment for defamation), 511, 298 (hurting religious sentiment), 295-A (intend to outrage religious feelings), and 505-C (attempt to incite hatred enmity between classes) of the Indian Penal Code. The matter will be heard on Saturday.
Expectedly, Haasan’s comment in the magazine set off an uproar from Hindutva forces as well as BJP leaders, who have damned him for such an accusation. While senior BJP leader, Vinay Katiyar described the actor’s mental state as “unstable”, the party’s general secretary, H Raja dubbed Kamal Haasan as a “supporter of terrorists”.
“From his known stand of being an anti-Hindu, Kamal Haasan has now promoted himself as a supporter of terrorists. Nationalists’ beware. During Viswaroopam crisis, certain Muslim outfits had commented that the (actor’s) fear will not go away for another 20 years and it looks to be true. Attack on Hindus shameful,” Raja tweeted.
Even though Kamal Haasan preferred not to react till late on Friday evening, his remarks nevertheless found support from Congress spokesperson and actor, Khushbu.
“Lynching, abusing, killing, threatening, harassing in the name of religion is a terror. Any religion… We see this now. N this needs to be stopped,” she tweeted, without referring to either Kamal Haasan or the BJP.
Meanwhile, senior state Congress leader, Peter Alphonse sought to differ with Kamal Haasan’s description of terrorism based on colour. “Congress does not accept generalising it as saffron terrorism. Kamal could have termed it as Hindutva terrorism, instead of Hindu terrorism, which is also not acceptable. One cannot accept any religion being linked to terrorism,” Alphonse told a television channel, while seeking to differ on a few other points too, raised by the actor in the article.
Irrespective of what actor Kamal Haasan has said, BJP indulges in political and social violence. Can there be any denial on this front, asked political analyst Ramu Manivannan.
“It is only the mention of the word terrorist, which disturbs the equanimity of some people here. If the word terrorist is replaced by violence, that may be acceptable. Terrorism is a form of violence and violence is very much part of BJP’s culture,” Manivannan told TOI.