Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan has revived the controversy over the phrase "saffron terror", saying in his weekly column that the right wing no longer can deny the presence of extremist elements among its ranks.
In his column in the weekly Ananda Vikatan, Haasan said that where Hindu extremists earlier believed in holding a dialogue to push their point, they now indulged in violence.
"In the past Hindu right-wing groups would not indulge in violence, but they would hold a dialogue with the opposite parties on their arguments. But this old tactic was defeated and what they stated to do is use muscle power. They started indulging in violence," he wrote.
Referring to the counter-argument that Hindus have not been found guilty in terror-related cases, he said: "The right-wing can't challenge anyone asking the question - show me, one Hindu terrorist. Terror has spread into their camp as well. Such terror activities are not going to help them in any way."
The actor further said that Tamil Nadu will become an example for social justice once again, and congratulated Kerala for "showing the way."
Haasan's column reiterated his anti-Sangh positioning ahead of his expected entry into active politics and was panned by the BJP and allies.
"Kamal Haasan should apologise and take his words back. In reality, there is peace because Hindus are in a majority," BJP spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathi said.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, "Such claims will not work in politics. The Congress which talked of Hindu terrorism is today out of power," referring to the political backlash the Congress faced for using the phrase.