GN Bureau | November 24, 2015
Lashing out at Aamir Khan for saying that he and his wife (Kiran Rao) had considered moving out of the country over the alarming rise of intolerance, actor Anupam Kher said that the actor should 'spread hope instead of fear'.
In a series of tweets expressing disappointment over Khan's remarks made yesterday, Kher asked if Khan would suggest millions of Indians to leave the country or to wait till the regime changes.
"Dear @aamir_khan. #SatyamevaJayate u talked about evil practices but gave Hope. So even in 'Intolerant' times u need 2 spread Hope not Fear," Kher tweeted.
Dear @aamir_khan. Did you ask Kiran which country would she like to move out to? Did you tell her that this country has made you AAMIR KHAN.— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) November 23, 2015
On the other hand, MP and actor Paresh Rawal said that Aamir's hit movie PK rattled the belief of Hindus but the actor did not face wrath of the 'Majority.'
Intolerance !PK did rattle the belief of Hindus but Aamir dint face the wrath of Hindu or THE MAJORITY n but was super hit n made crores !— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) November 23, 2015
Aamir is a fighter so he should not leave but change the situation in the country ! jeena yahan marna yahan !— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) November 23, 2015
A true patriot will not run away n leave his motherland behind in turmoil or in troubled times (if any )...don't escape - build it ..— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) November 23, 2015
If I believe this is my motherland then I will never talk about leaving it ....but I would if I had believed otherwise ...— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) November 23, 2015
What did Aamir say?
Speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism awards in New Delhi on Monday, Aamir had said that he felt "alarmed" by the recent happenings in the country and his wife Kiran Rao had even suggested that they should leave the country .
"When I chat with Kiran at home, she says, 'Should we move out of India?' That's a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is this sense of growing disquiet, there is growing despondency apart from alarm," Aamir said.
When asked about the recent Paris attacks and the emergence of ISIS, he said he is worried about such acts.
"I do think about these things. I don't think that was an Islamic act. A person holding Quran and killing people, he maybe feeling he is doing an Islamic act but as a Muslim I don't think he is doing an Islamic act," Aamir said.
"I am very clear that a person who is killing innocents is not a Muslim. As far as I am concerned, he is not a Muslim. He may claim to be a Muslim but we should not recognise him like that. He is a terrorist and should be recognised as a terrorist. My problem is not just with the ISIS, it is with that kind of thinking," he said.
The actor said he is worried about "extreme thinking".
"Today it is ISIS, tomorrow it could be some other organisation. This extreme thinking is what I worry about because I feel this extreme thinking wherever it comes from is very destructive and negative.
So I have a problem with that kind of thinking. So, certainly I have a problem with ISIS and this extreme kind of thinking which may belong to a section of any religion. This is what I have a problem with," he said.
Meanwhile, Kiren Rijiju, minister state for home, said the number of deaths in communal incidents had come down since the BJP came to power last year. "This is unnecessarily tarnishing the image of the nation," he said.
"We won't let Aamir leave the country, he is safe. This kind of comment influenced by a politically motivated campaign insults those who have given so much honour to Aamir in India," said Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Rahul backs Aamir, so does Samajwadi Party
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the government should not "bully or threaten" people who question it as he came out in support of actor Aamir Khan, whose statement on 'intolerance' has triggered a huge row.
"Instead of branding all those who question the Govt & Modiji- as unpatriotic, anti national or 'motivated', the Govt would do better to reach out to people to understand what's disturbing them. That's the way to solve problems in India- not by bullying, threatening & abusing!" the Congress vice-president tweeted.
Congress,leader Shashi Tharoor accusing the BJP of making a deliberate attempt to polarise sentiments. He said that "Aamir made a point and we must listen to it. He loves the country and that's why he raised a concern."
The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday extended support to Bollywood actor Aamir Khan after he triggered an outrage among BJP supporters who criticized the actor for commenting on the growing intolerance in India. Khan had, at an award function on Monday, said his wife, Kiran, had recently suggested that the couple and their family settle outside of India, fearing for their child. The suggestion, Khan said, was something he thought was a cause of collective concern.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Samajwadi Party backward castes meeting in Lucknow, senior UP minister Shivpal Yadav said the Samajwadi Party and its national president Mulayam Singh Yadav had always been very supportive of creative artists and sportspersons, and that they would continue to back their artistic freedom. On Tuesday, senior SP minister Azam Khan, speaking in Rampur, also reportedly came out in support of Aamir Khan and his statement against growing intolerance. Clarifying that the articulation of fear was by Khan's wife Kiran, a Hindu, Azam reportedly said if Khan's wife can feel fearful, the situation must be considerably worse for everyone else who does not enjoy the kind of support the celebrity couple does.
Security for the actor
Under attack for his remark over concerns of intolerance in the country, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has been provided with adequate security, a senior police official said on Tuesday.
“We have provided adequate police security to the actor. There hasn’t been any protest by anyone in the city or at Khan’s house, but we have information that some outfits may hold a protest,” DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni.
BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, who is often in the line of fire for firing salvos, said that Aamir must leave the country if he wants as that would reduce population of the country.
"If Aamir Khan wants to leave the country he can go. The population of the country will come down," said the BJP leader.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi also hit out at the 'PK' star, terming his statement on leaving the country as a "great disservice to freedom fighters".
Owaisi said, "We'll be doing great disservice to freedom fighters by even verbally saying that we're thinking of leaving India. So long as planet Earth survives, no one can force us to leave India and neither will we leave it."
Asansol MP and singer Babul Supriyo said, "It is an unfortunate statement, he should not have said this. I see no reason for using such harsh words, there is no intolerance in the country.
He further said, "These are important people, country listens to them, so one should be more careful."
This came after BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain addressed a press conference, targeting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi over the issue. Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's tweets backing Aamir Khan, the BJP leader said that with the Congress leader backing the actor, it seems some conspiracy is at play.