A day after Shah Rukh Khan was dubbed “anti-national” and “Pakistani agent” by senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya and controversial Hindutva figure Sadhvi Prachi, they were slammed by politicians and film industry personalities.
Vijayvargiya, a BJP general secretary and a former state minister of Madhya Pradesh, said Shah Rukh’s “soul” is in Pakistan though he lives in India on Tuesday, a day after the actor said there is “extreme intolerance” in the country, adding his voice to the protest against the “climate of intolerance”.
While talking to reporters in a court complex in Muzaffarnagar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Prachi said, “Shah Rukh Khan is an agent of neighbouring country Pakistan as he reflects their (Pakistan’s) ideology. Such a man should go to Pakistan.”
The VHP leader had targeted actors Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan in March this year for “spreading a culture of violence” and advised youngsters not to idolise the Bollywood triumvirate.
Filmmaker Aparna Sen lashed out against Prachi’s comments and called for legal action against the leader. “Can’t believe Sadhvi’s reaction to SRK on tv! They’re ones who want to break the country apart! There should be legal action against her!” tweeted the National Award winner. She also called for sending a letter to the President for curbing of freedom of speech.
Can't believe Sadhvi's reaction to SRK on tv! They're ones who want to break the country apart! There should be legal action against her!— Aparna Sen (@senaparna) November 3, 2015
TMC national spokesperson Derek O’Brien termed the comments by Vijayvargiya ‘sickening’. “Sickening remarks against Shah Rukh Khan by BJP general secretary also Bengal in-charge. What kind of attitude is this? Everyone else is bad and only you are good?” Derek said in a statement.
Shah Rukh had come out strongly against what he called “extreme intolerance” in the country, saying intolerance towards creativity and religion will hurt the country. “There is intolerance, there is extreme intolerance... there is I think... there is growing intolerance,” he said.
“It is stupid... It is stupid to be intolerant and this is our biggest issue not just an issue... Religious intolerance and not being secular in this country is the worst kind of crime that you can do as a patriot,” he added. “If there is intolerance to creativity, intolerance through religion, we are taking away every step that the nation is taking forward,” he said.
In reaction to the interview, Vijayvargiya took to Twitter. “Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India to be intolerant. If this is not anti-nationalist, then what is it. India is making a bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations and all the anti-Indian forces including Pakistan are creating a conspiracy,” he said.
शाहरुख़ खान रहते भारत में हैं पर उनका मन सदा पाकिस्तान में रहता है। उनकी फिल्मों यहाँ करोड़ो कमाती है पर उन्हें भारत असहिष्णु नजर आता है 1/5— Kailash Vijayvargiya (@KailashOnline) November 3, 2015
The BJP leader alleged that the attempt to create an “environment of intolerance” in the country is part of the conspiracy.
“Shah Rukh’s comment about intolerance points that he is matching the tunes with Pakistan and anti-Indian forces. Today when the entire world is respecting India, talking about increase in intolerance makes the country weak in front of the world.,” Vijayvargiya, one of the party strategists for the Bihar Assembly elections, wrote.
The BJP leader also posed a question to Shah Rukh over blasts in Mumbai. “When hundreds of people died in the 1993 blast in Mumbai, then where was Shah Rukh Khan. When Mumbai was attacked in 26/11 attacks, then where was Shah Rukh Khan,” he added.
A host of well-known writes, filmmakers, scientists and historians have announced the return of awards and honours as a mark of protest against recent events like the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri of Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he had consumed beef, the murder of Kannada rationalist scholar MM Kalburgi, and the police ‘raid’ on Delhi’s Kerala House.
(With inputs from agencies)