Makkal Needhi Maiam president and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has put out a tweet saying, 'There has been no mention of 'Hindu' by the 12 Alwars or Nayanmars. We were christened Hindu by Mughals or those (foreign) rulers who predated them.'
Chennai: Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president and actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has come up with a new statement that the very term Hindu did not hail from India, but is of foreign origin.
The actor also said that neither the Alwars not the Nayanmars, the farmed Vaishnavite and Shaivite saints, had made any note on 'Hindu'.
Kamal Haasan added that the citizens were identified only as ''Indians'' and confining it to religion was "erroneous".
MNM chief took to Twitter to say, "There has been no mention of ''Hindu'' by the 12 Alwars or Nayanmars. We were christened Hindu by Mughals or those (foreign) rulers who predated them."
The British, who ruled the nation, "endorsed" that coinage, he said.
"While we have so many of our own identities, it is ignorant to have something given to us by non-native as name and faith," he added.
While the identity "Indian is recent", it was "eternal", the MNM chief said.
"It is erroneous, in terms of commerce, politics and spirituality, for us to try to confine our vast country into religion," Kamal Haasan continued.
"To put it in layman's terms, living in harmony has a million benefits," he said referring to a Tamil saying.
Earlier, stoking a controversy, the actor-politician had said, "Free India's first extremist was a Hindu." He was referring to Nathuram Godse, who shot dead Mahatma Gandhi.
"I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Free India's first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (extremism) starts," he had said in bypoll-bound Aravakurichi in Tamil Nadu.
The remarks had resulted in a major row, with the BJP and AIADMK tearing into Kamal Haasan, even as cases were filed against him in Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
However, the Congress's state unit and rationalist outfit Dravidar Kazhagam backed him.
Earlier, in a campaigning speech in Tamil Nadu, Kamal said, “"I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Free India's first terrorist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (terrorism, apparently) starts.” The reference was to Nathuram Godse, who shot dead Gandhiji.
(With PTI inputs)
Last Updated 1:56 PM IST