Madras HC grants pre-arrest bail to Kamal Haasan over Godse remark

Published: May 20, 2019, 15:26 IST | mid-day online desk

An FIR was filed against Haasan on May 14 following which he moved court seeking anticipatory bail, saying his speech was about Godse only and not about Hindus as a whole

Madras HC grants pre-arrest bail to Kamal Haasan over Godse remark
Kamal Haasan

The Madras High Court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to actor-politician Kamal Haasan in a case filed against him over his controversial Hindu extremist remark.

Justice R Pugalendhi of the Madurai Bench directed the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder to appear before the judicial magistrate court in Aravakurichi and execute a bail bond for Rs 10,000 with two sureties each for a like sum.

Addressing an election rally in Aravakurichi last week, Haasan had said, "Free India's first terrorist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (terrorism, apparently) starts." Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi.

An FIR was filed against Haasan on May 14, following which he moved court seeking anticipatory bail, saying his speech was about Godse only and not about Hindus as a whole.

Allowing his plea, the judge said the court was inclined to grant bail as the election process was still pending and he was the leader of a registered political party.

Haasan's remarks drew criticism from the BJP, ruling AIADMK and Hindu outfits.

Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan, who has found himself in a row over his "India's first extremist was a Hindu" remarks, Sunday called Mahatma Gandhi a 'superstar'.

Pointing out that he has been repeatedly reading about Gandhi and his life, Haasan recalled an anecdote where the latter once lost his slipper while travelling in a train. "...he (Gandhi) is a superstar. While waving at the crowds standing in a train, he once lost his slipper. And he
threw away the other one and reasoned that a pair of footwear will be useful for someone," he said at an event of director R Pathiban's movie titled 'Ottha Seruppu,' meaning single
chappal.

Talking more on Gandhi's footwear, Haasan said following research on the Indian freedom movement's doyen for his film "Hey Ram", he came to know that his spectacles and a slipper
"went missing during the melee," apparently referring to his assassination.

"So I created a scene where Saketram (the lead played by himself) takes it (slipper) and keeps it till his death," he said.

Caught in a row for saying that Nathuram Godse, who shot dead Gandhi, was a Hindu and that he was free, Haasan said he cannot "accept a villain as a hero." On the incident where footwear was hurled during his campaigning at Thirupparankundram near Madurai recently, he said: "it is an insult for the one who threw the chappal." Indicating that Gandhi was his "hero", Haasan said, "I cannot change my hero."

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies

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