Chennai: Catapulted to national attention by that one statement on Godse and Hindu terror, actor-politician Kamal Haasan has now come up with an elaborate exposition that the very term ‘Hindu’ is not an Indian description but a foreign coinage of ancient time which the British endorsed for convenience.
Neither the Alwars nor the Nayanmars, the famed Vaishnavite and Shaivite saints, had made any mention of ‘Hindu’, he said on twitter. “We were christened Hindus by Mughals or those (foreign) rulers who predated him”, he said, adding that the British had ‘endorsed’ that coinage.
The citizens were identified as ‘Indians’, so it would be erroneous to box them all into a religion. “While we have so many of our own identities, it is ignorant to have as our name and faith something given to us by non-native”, said Kamal.
“To put it in layman’s terms, living in harmony has a million benefits”, he said drawing from a Tamil saying. Later speaking to reporters at the airport on his arrival from hectic campaigning, Kamal sought to play down his burden of ‘Hindu’ terrorist by declaring, “Every religion has its own terrorists” and so “none can claim to be sanctimonious”.
Asked if he could have avoided the Godse comment, Kamal said he stood firm on his remarks and he had said the same thing even earlier during a Marina rally but no one bothered about that. Only people whose confidence has dipped now were creating tension.
He furter added saying every religion has its own terrorist.
To a question if he had applied for anticipatory bail fearing arrest, he replied in the negative. “I don’t fear arrest. Let them arrest me but that would escalate tensions.
So better not to do that (arrest). This is not my request but an advice”, he said, while reiterating his charge that the media had
subjected his (Godse) speech at Aravakurichi (Sunday night) to selective editing.
Asked if he felt intimidated by minister Rajendra Balaji saying his tongue should be cut off or by incidents such as the stone-pelting and hurling of chappal at his campaign meeting, Kamal said Balaji’s tongue threat “shows his character” and as for fear, he had none.
To a question if he would apologise to the apolitical Hindus for his Godse comment, he said one should differentiate between Hindus and
“We should differentiate who are Hindus, who is RSS. You can’t generalise. Political functionaries will get hurt any time,
non-political persons with a faith will only wonder for sometime why he has spoken like this...things like getting hurt, getting angry and attacking are political tools. They are violent tools,” he said, pointing out that even in the past, various groups had protested against him, “but people later realised they were not proper”.
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that a Hindu cannot be a terrorist, Kamal said, “Many think he is very knowledgeable. Therefore history and history professors are there to respond to him”.
On police denying him permission to undertake campaigning in Sulur Assembly constituency in Coimbatore on Friday, he wondered why the EC did not opt to postpone the by-poll if it thought there was a problem there.
Meanwhile, he has uploaded a video on his Twitter page, in an apparent retort to his being denied permission to canvass votes in Sulur on the last day of campaign schedule.
“Permission was denied to me to undertake campaign in one place (Sulur). Thanks to science, here is my campaign,” he said....