BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur on Thursday sparked a controversy by saying that Nathuram Godse was a ‘deshbhakt' (patriot), is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'. “People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections,” she added. She was replying to a question by a news agency on actor Kamal Haasan's statement that Godse, a Hindu, was independent India's first extremist.
Godse is the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the BJP distanced itself from her comment with party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao saying, “BJP does not agree with this statement, we condemn it. Party will ask her for clarification, she should apologise publicly for this statement.
A few days after the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan made the remark, a complaint was lodged against him by Hindu Munnani’s Karur district secretary, KV Ramakrishnan. An FIR was registered under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.
On Wednesday, Kamal approached the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court seeking to quash the FIR. However, his plea was denied by Justice B Pugalendhi who stated that the court could not get involved at the current stage. The judge further advised that Kamal Haasan apply for anticipatory bail in view of the situation, which he has created. The hearing for this is expected to take place on Thursday.
Following the backlash over his statement, the actor defended his views and said that people were making allegations against him without listening to his entire speech at Aravakurichi.
"In Aravakurichi, I said independent India's first extremist was a Hindu. It is a historical truth.”
He added that all his family members were Hindus and that he would never speak in a manner which would hurt their beliefs. He said truth will always be bitter and that bitterness will turn into medicine.
#WATCH BJP Bhopal Lok Sabha Candidate Pragya Singh Thakur says 'Nathuram Godse was a 'deshbhakt', is a 'deshbhakt' and will remain a 'deshbhakt'. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a befitting reply in these elections pic.twitter.com/4swldCCaHK— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2019