Actor and politician Kamal Haasan on Sunday called Mahatma Gandhi a superstar following his “India's first extremist was a Hindu” remarks last week.
The Makkal Needhi Maiam founder had found himself in the middle of a row after he said Nathuram Godse was free India's first extremist for the assassination of Gandhi. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the AIADMK tore into Haasan and FIRs were filed against him for his remarks.
On Sunday, Haasan said he repeatedly read about Gandhi and his life, and said that the Father of the Nation was a superstar while citing an anecdote. “While waving at the crowds standing in a train, Gandhi 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 event for director R. Parthiban's movie Ottha Seruppu (single slipper).
Haasan recalled that while researching for the movie Hey Ram, he learnt that Gandhi lost his spectacles and a slipper during the melee (when he was assassinated). The actor-politician went on to say that he created a scene in the film where his character Saketram takes the slipper and keeps it till his death.
Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse. Haasan, while campaigning at Aravakurichi in Karur district, had said that he “cannot change my hero and accept the villain as hero”, referring to Godse and Gandhi's assassination. “Free India's first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse,” Haasan had said.
Following Haasan's comment, BJP candidate from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya kicked up another controversy when she said “Nathuram Godse was, is and would remain a patriot”. She later apologised.
(With inputs from PTI)