A day after a senior Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha leader said that Tamil actor Kamal Haasan should be “shot dead” for his “Hindu terror” remarks, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the statement saying “such religious fanatics must be arrested immediately”. Referring to the deaths of Mahatma Gandhi, Pansare, Dhabolkar, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh in the past, Vijayan said that any efforts to add more names to the list must be opposed and dealt with strongly.
Taking to Facebook and Twitter, the Chief Minister said, “Strongly condemn such criminal attempts against Kamal Haasan’s freedom of speech by threatening to murder him by Hindu Mahasabha leader(s). Such religious fanatics & radical minds issuing murder/assassination threats should be immediately arrested by the concerned authorities and stringent legal action is needed against these persons who threatened to kill Kamal Haasan. The entire nation knows WHAT happened to Mahatma Gandhi, Pansare, Dhabolkar, Kalburgi, Gauri Langesh and WHY ? Any move to further add names to that series by such draconian forces has to be opposed and terminated immediately. I strongly condemn anyone following any religion or caste or gender resorting to terrorism to accomplish their communal agenda to spread unrest in society and destabilise the country.”
Vijayan’s remarks come in the backdrop of his meeting with the actor who is speculated to soon join politics. While the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) described the meeting as a “friendly visit”, Haasan, referring to his political plans, had said, “Have been talking to Kerala CM about it, taking advice, will meet more politicians before I make my call.” Talking about his political affiliations, the actor said that “saffron” was not his colour.
In a column in a Tamil weekly the actor had earlier this week 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.” He continued, “The right-wing cannot challenge anyone asking the question — show me one Hindu terrorist. Terror has spread into their camp as well.”
A defamation case has been filed against him for hurting religious sentiments of the Hindus. Hitting back at the criticism that he has been facing for his comments, Haasan on Saturday said, “If we question them, they call us anti-nationals and want us jailed. Now since there is no space in jails they want to shoot us and kill us.”
The controversy comes days before his birthday on November 7 where he is expected to make an announcement about his political entry.