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Not against freedom of expression: Parrikar on Aamir jibe

india Updated: Jul 31, 2016 23:45 IST
Manohar Parrikar

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar interacts with journalists at Parliament House during the monsoon session.(PTI)

A day after his apparent jibe at Bollywood actor Aamir Khan in context of intolerance debate caused a flutter, Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday he did not target any specific person but is against overall “unrest”.

Parrikar also said that he was not opposed to the “freedom of expression, but feels that country is supreme.”

While addressing reporters in Pune on Saturday, Parrikar took a veiled jibe at Khan who had earlier expressed a “sense of alarm” over “growing intolerance in country.” “One actor had said that his wife wants to live out of India. It was an arrogant statement. If I am poor and my house is small, but I have to love my house and always dream to make a bungalow out of it,” Parrikar had said.

Addressing reporters in Jabalpur, the minister said, “I have not taken anybody’s name. I had said that people who don’t respect the country should be opposed..I am opposed to ‘Upadrav’ (unrest). Such people should be opposed in a democratic manner...To oppose, seminars should be held.”

Parrikar had said, “When the actor made the statement last year, people, while protesting his views, started uninstalling the online trading app, he was advertising for and the firm too pulled out the advertisement (involving the actor).”

Also launching an oblique attack on JNU students’ leader Kanhaiya Kumar against the backdrop of alleged raising of anti-national slogans at JNU earlier this year, Parrikar had said, “such people who speak against the country need to be taught a lesson by the people of this country.”

Meanwhile, responding to a query, Parrikar said, “I don’t say that nationalists are only in BJP. Non-political people and persons of different political parties could also be nationalists. “Citizen of any other nation cannot comment against his country. So, people (speaking against the country) in India too should be opposed.”

In November last year, the “PK” actor had joined the chorus of intelligentsia against growing intolerance, saying he has been “alarmed” by a number of incidences and his wife Kiran Rao even suggested that they should probably leave the country.