A VARANASI court on Saturday registered a case against Kamal Haasan, a day after a local lawyer accused the actor of hurting religious sentiments of the Hindus with his “Hindu terror” remark in a Tamil weekly. The additional chief judicial magistrate (ACJM) fixed November 22 as next date for hearing.
This comes on a day when a Meerut-based Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha leader demanded that Haasan either be shot dead or hanged for his statement.
“ACJM Sudhakar Dubey ordered the registration a complaint case in court against Kamal Haasan,” said complainant Kamlesh Tripathi. A native of Jaunpur district, Tripathi practices in the Varanasi district court.
Denying that he is affiliated to any political party, Tripathi said: “I filed the complaint on the basis of the articles that had appeared in newspapers and social networking sites. I have attached newspaper cuttings and printouts of the articles with my complaint.”
“I have accused Kamal Haasan of hurting the sentiments of the Hindu community with his remarks. I have stated that people belonging to other communities would start suspecting Hindus and develop hatred for them after reading his article,” he added.
In his column published in a Tamil weekly earlier this week, Haasan had said: “In the past, Hindu right-wing groups would not indulge in violence, but hold a dialogue with opposite parties on their arguments. But this old tactic was defeated and they started using muscle power. They started indulging in violence.”
“The right-wing cannot challenge anyone asking the question – show me one Hindu terrorist. Terror has spread into their camp as well,” he had added.
Tripathi said he had requested the court to hold Haasan accused under sections 500 (punishment for defamation), 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment), 298 (uttering, words, etc with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 505 (1) C (with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community) of the IPC.
Hindu Mahasabha national vice-president Pandit Ashok Sharma on Saturday described Haasan as “mentally challenged”. “He should be shot dead or hanged for his statement. He has made such a statement without going through history. In the last 60 years, there have been around 10 lakh attacks on the people of the Hindu community. No one made any hue and cry… With Hindus being booked only in four or five cases, how could he lable the entire community?… The Hindu community should boycott his films,” he said.
Meanwhile, among those who had joined the chorus to support Haasan are leading Tamil actors Arvind Swami and Prakash Raj.
“Terrorist definition. A person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims,” Swami tweeted on November 2. Reacting to the Hindu Mahasabha leader’s statement, he wrote on Saturday: “Do you think this is what he was referring to.”
“Extremists should never be seen to represent the faith itself, whatever that faith may be. But we cannot deny their existence,” he added.
As Hindu groups had escalated attack on Haasan, Prakash Raj was the first to come to his defense. In his Twitter post titled “to whomsoever it may concern,” he had said: “If abusing and manhandling young couples on the streets of my country in the name of morality is not terrorizing. If taking law into hands and lynching people on slightest doubt of cow slaughter is not terrorizing. If trolling with abuse, threat.. to silence even a slightest voice of dissent is not terrorizing. then what is terrorizing.”