Actor Prakash Raj, who has been in the news lately for his outspoken comments against Prime Minister Modi, has slammed another BJP leader. At the receiving end this time is Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde for his comments linking nationalism and Hindutva.
The actor has taken umbrage to Hegde’s comments at a press conference where he said that Hindutva and nationalism are not separate identities. Prakash Raj took to Twitter to share a 39-second undated video of a press conference where Hegde was speaking.
“There have been attempts to differentiate Hindutva and nationalism in the past. As long as we see the two separately, we cannot solve our problems. The people who think they are different cannot give solutions to our nation’s problems. Nationalism and Hindutva are both the same. People have to accept this and act according to this,” Hegde is heard saying at the press conference.
In response, Prakash Raj questioned the BJP leader over what he meant when he linked nationalism with Hindutva. He also questioned Hegde about prominent Indian personalities who were not Hindu, including Abdul Kalam, BR Ambedkar, AR Rahman, Khushwant Singh, Amrita Pritam and Dr. Verghese Kurien.
Prakash Raj also asked about people like him who do not have a religion. “Aren’t we all nationals of our country? Who are you guys, what is your agenda?” he asked in an open letter published on Twitter.
In another tweet, the actor shared the video of Hegde speaking at a press conference.
This is not the first time that Prakash Raj has targeted a BJP leader. In October, he claimed that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was a better actor than him. More recently, he sent a legal notice to BJP MP Pratap Simha for making derogatory and personal remarks against him.
In a speech made in Belagavi on the occasion of Ambedkar’s death anniversary on Wednesday, Prakash Raj had said, “To say that nationalism and Hindutva are one and the same is the new blind belief.”
Prakash Raj’s statements come just a day after Congress workers filed an FIR against Hegde over derogatory comments made against Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The BJP leader has also found himself in hot water for his sarcastic comments in Kundapur on November 13, when he suggested that the Congress government will now celebrate terrorists like Ajmal Kasab and Osama bin Laden.
Hegde has also garnered a reputation for making outspoken comments, especially backing Hindutva and criticising other religions.