Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said his comment about Nathuram Godse being “free India’s first extremist” was a “historical truth”, PTI reported. Haasan had made the remark at a public meeting in Aravakurichi Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu on Monday. He had also pointed out that Godse was a Hindu.

This is Haasan’s first response since his comment drew criticism from the BJP and the AIADMK. The actor-turned-politician is facing a court case in Delhi and a First Information Report has been registered in Tamil Nadu.

“They got angry for what I spoke at Aravakurichi,” Haasan said at a campaign rally in Thiruparankundram town in Madurai district ahead of bye-elections. He said truth would triumph like the “historical truth I mentioned”, and not caste and religion, PTI reported.

“Understand the meaning for the word extremist,” he said. “I could have used the word terrorist or murderer.” Haasan claimed that his speech was selectively edited. “They are saying I hurt Hindu sentiments,” he said. “There are so many Hindus in my family. My daughter is a believer.”

The actor-turned politician told his detractors not to harp on his ideology in an attempt to insult him. “Because honesty is the basis of my ideology which you dont have,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Haasan’s party, in a statement, said his comment was “completely taken out of context and the speech has been painted as anti-Hindu, with a malafide intent”. The Delhi High Court also refused to entertain a public interest litigation plea filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay against Haasan’s remarks.