Freedom of Expression

Kamal Haasan Charged With Defamation for ‘Hindu Terror’ Remark

Haasan had said that right-wing Hindutva groups cannot deny the existence of Hindu extremism.

Actor Kamal Haasan. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: A day after actor Kamal Haasan said that Hindu right-wing outfits cannot deny the existence of “Hindu terror”, a string of criminal cases, including a case of defamation for hurting religious sentiments, has been filed against the actor in Varanasi.

Haasan has been booked under sections 500 (punishment for defamation), 511, 298 (hurting religious sentiment), 295-A (intend to outrage religious feelings), and 505-C (attempt to incite hatred enmity between classes) of the Indian Penal Code.

The matter will be heard in court tomorrow, reported ANI.

In his regular column in the popular Tamil weekly news magazine Ananda Vikatan, Haasan wrote, “The Hindus cannot challenge others to show extremists among them since extremism has spread to that extent even among the Hindus. Hindus are losing faith in satyameva jayate and instead subscribing to ‘might is right’.”

Haasan had penned his column in response to a question put by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had asked the actor to express his views on Hindutva forces and their attempt to “dilute Tamil culture”.

Haasan’s comments did not go down well with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) who retaliated, with the BJP leader Subramanian Swamy calling him a “morally corrupt person”.

BJP’s national spokesperson, G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, compared the actor to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed. “Today, when Kamal Haasan makes similar comments, he is actually joining the ranks of P Chidambaram, Hafiz Saeed and is possibly angling to become an extension of the Congress party,” he said on Thursday.

RSS leader Rakesh Sinha had also expressed anguish over Haasan’s remark and demanded an apology for ‘hurting and defaming Hindu civilization for his petty political end.’

Earlier today, actor Prakash Raj backing Haasan’s statement, tweeted: “If instilling fear in the name of religion..culture..morality is not terrorizing..than what is it..”