Venom against SRK for intolerance comment spills over: Who said what

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2015 01:23 IST
Actor Shah Rukh Khan celebrates his 50th birthday in Mumbai. (IANS)

Hindu hardliners escalated their tirade against Shah Rukh Khan over his remarks on intolerance with controversial BJP parliamentarian Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday accusing the Bollywood star of “treason” and comparing him with Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed.

The NDA government struggled to keep BJP MPs and Hindu controversialists on a leash after Khan commented on his 50th birthday on Monday that there was “nothing worse than religious intolerance and that it would take India to the dark ages”.

Here’s who said what on Khan and his intolerance comment:

Those who spoke against Shah Rukh Khan

Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP general secretary : “Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India is intolerant. If this is not anti-national, then what is it? India is making a bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations and all anti-Indian forces including Pakistan are creating a conspiracy.”

Sadhvi Prachi, VHP leader: “Shah Rukh Khan is an agent of neighbouring country Pakistan as he reflects their (Pakistan’s) ideology. Such a man should go to Pakistan.”

Yogi Adityanath, BJP MP: “Shah Rukh Khan should remember that if a huge mass in society would boycot his films, he will also have to wander on streets like a normal Muslim....I am saying these people are speaking in a terrorist’ language. I think there is no difference between the language of Shah Rukh Khan and Hafiz Saeed.”

“We welcome that people go there (Pakistan), at least people who defame India will understand their own originality,” he added.

Manoj Tiwari, BJP MP: “He (Shah Rukh Khan) has issued a statement when the Bihar elections are going on. He has always been close to Congress party and his closeness has been seen before as well. I consider his statement as a political comment.”

“If there was any kind of intolerance in the country, he wouldn’t have been one of the top superstars in India. He should keep this fact in his mind that whatever statement he makes, it makes a big impact.”

Najma Heptulla, minority affairs minister: “Had Shah Rukh Khan not said such things, my party men would not have commented anything. He gave them a point to talk on, they didn’t start talking themselves.”

Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP MP

“I want the world to know that he (Shah Rukh) received an Enforcement Directorate (ED) notice on October 26 and India became intolerant on the 1st or 2nd of November.”

“And, when it comes to intolerance, then probably they are those illiterate people who do not know what the history of the country had been under Congress rule.”

“He should raise his voice on the anniversary of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the Mirchpur or Gohana incidents. Several such incidents happened when Congress was in power but then they were mum.”

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev: “If he is a true patriot, he should return all the money he earned after winning the Padma Shri to the PM relief fund, in case he plans to return the award.”

Those who spoke in support of Shah Rukh Khan

Nalin Kohli, BJP spokesperson: “His (Adityanath) comments are incorrect and uncalled for. They do not reflect in any way the core belief of BJP or that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

“There cannot be any comparison of any law-abiding Indian citizen with a terrorist like Hafiz Saeed, certainly not Khan who is a much loved and respected Indian national and artiste.”

Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP: “This country is tolerant and the Muslims are tolerant as well. Shah Rukh Khan should not be targeted only because he is a Muslim.”

“Shah Rukh Khan is a superstar only because the country is tolerant and has never thought in the name of religion.”

“First of all Shah Rukh Khan should not have gotten into this debate on tolerance and secondly, out of the people who have returned their awards, the number of Muslims is almost negligible. Also, Shah Rukh spoke on the issue very late.”

Ravi Shankar Prasad, telecom minister : “Shah Rukh Khan is extraordinary talent as a film artist of versatile genius and is universally applauded by all Indians alike.”

M Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister: “The party also does not approve of the comments made by a functionary against Shahrukh Khan.”

Anand Sharma, Congress spokesperson: “Shah Rukh Khan is an icon of cosmopolitan India. He has the right to speak his mind as a citizen of India. The BJP can’t question anyone.”

“Shah Rukh Khan expressed his concren and independent opinion as a citizen of the country. The general secretary of the BJP raised questions on his nationality and doubted his patriotism. Whatever was said yesterday, the more we condemn it, less it is. What message are they giving to the people?”

Digvijaya Singh, senior Congress leader: “I strongly condemn Kailash Vijavargiya’s statement. Modi should personally apologise to Shah Rukh. Shah Rukh don’t worry we stand by you.”

Another tweet from Singh said:

PC Chacko, Congress leader: “If they (government) don’t agree with the Congress we have no problem, but the non-political people coming out must be heard.”

“Every kind of intolerance we can see in the society, intolerance against food, intolerance against religion, intolerance against political party, intolerance against the descending opinion. So the country is going towards a disastrous situation.”

Anupam Kher, actor: “Some members of the BJP really need to control their tongue and stop talking rubbish about Shah Rukh Khan. He is a national icon and we are proud of him.”

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(With agency inputs)

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