Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday came in defence of actor Shah Rukh Khan, in the news for his comments on Pakistani players' participation in IPL matches, saying freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right and nobody can deny it.
"Freedom of speech and expression in any form is a fundamental right. India is a country where fundamental right is guaranteed by the Constitution. Nobody can tamper with it," Mukherjee told reporters when asked about Shiv Sena's threat to the film actor.
The controversy began when Shah Rukh, who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the IPL, questioned the absence of Pakistani players in the third season the hugely popular T20 cricket version.
The Shiv Sena was quick to react with its chief Thackeray saying "A Khan named Shah Rukh tells us to love Pakistan but nobody feels suffocated due to his treachery. Traitors, do whatever you want to do with the blessings of Congress. Sena won't stop you..."
Shah Rukh, however, was unfazed. "I have not said anything that is anti-national or anti-Indian. I stand by what I said and I would like to say that may be the group has misunderstood me. There is no other reason because I have not said anything I should feel sorry about," was Shah Rukh's refrain.