The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday lashed out at actor Aamir Khan for his remarks on the intolerance issue, calling it a “moral offence” and an attempt to defame the country.
Party spokesperson MJ Akbar said being an icon, Aamir should not have made such a statement.
“It is unfortunate that for the sake of his name, he is defaming the entire country. It is a moral crime and it is unacceptable,” he said.
Aamir Khan on Monday had remarked on the rising religious intolerance in the country, engulfing him in an avalanche of criticism from the BJP, radical Hindu groups and even a section of the film fraternity. “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,” the 50-year-old actor had said.
Attacking the actor, Akbar said there is absolutely no problem with an icon or non-icon in a democracy criticising anything, “but yes, when an icon blames the whole nation, then I think there is an appropriate reason for a reaction.”
“I do not believe that you have a right to drag down the nation because of any personal antagonism towards a political party. The nation must always be above politics,” he said.
Referring to Aamir’s relative, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Akbar said the actor should be reminded of the late freedom fighter’s words in opposition to the Partition — that the country belongs to everyone.
“Aamir is a relative of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, whose message was that the country belonged to everybody. What Maulana had said, probably his relatives should have heard,” he said.
Akbar further blamed “some forces” for the escalating debate on intolerance, claiming that they are against the “development of the country” and that “these forces want to put obstacle in India’s progress”.
Recalling an incident involving a church in Delhi, the BJP spokesperson claimed that it had been blown out of proportion and an attempt was made to “internationalise” it.