- Kamal Haasan said Independent India's first extremist was a Hindu
- Vivek Oberoi said terror has no religion, just like art
- Why specify Nathuram Godse was a Hindu, the actor added
Actor Vivek Oberoi on Monday took exception to actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's usage of the word "Hindu" to describe hardliner Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. The actor, who campaigned for the BJP in the ongoing election, also took a swipe at Mr Haasan, asking if he made the remark as he was in a Muslim dominated area.
"Dear Kamal sir, you are a great artist. Just like art has no religion, terror has no religion either! You can say Ghodse was a terrorist, why would you specify 'Hindu' ? Is it because you were in a Muslim dominated area looking for votes?" he tweeted.
"Please sir, from a much smaller artist to a great one, let's not divide this country, we are one," he added.
Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan, whose party made its debut in the national election, said on Sunday that the first extremist in Independent India was a Hindu.
"I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Independent India's first extremist (theevravaadi) was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it starts," Kamal Haasan said in Tamil while campaigning in the town of Aravakurichi in Tamil Nadu's Karur district on Sunday night.
His comment provoked an immediate reaction from the BJP.
"We strongly condemn Kamal Haasan for talking about Hindu extremism in his poll campaign. He is triggering communal violence in a place where there are a lot of minorities. The Election Commission must take stringent action against Kamal Haasan for this speech," Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan tweeted in Tamil.
Vivek Oberoi calls himself a fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is also the leading actor in PM Modi's biopic whose release was stalled by the Election Commission after the Congress objected to screening the film during Lok Sabha polls.
The term "Hindu terror" has been at the forefront in the ongoing national election, with the BJP alleging that the Congress coined the term during its tenure to defame Hindus. The party also fielded Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon blasts case on bail, as its candidate from Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal.