New Delhi: Hitting out at Bollywood star Aamir Khan for his remarks on intolerance, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said the “extreme reaction” given by the prominent actor has not only “dented” the image of the country but also his own.
Joining his party colleagues who have been critical of Aamir’s comments, he said the reason why his party did not agree with the actor’s statement is because the country has a “legacy of tolerance”.
“The statement of Aamir may have been his personal opinion but the country has been hurt by it to a large extent. If such an extreme reaction is given by a prominent artiste, then naturally some people get hurt and sad. The reason why we do not agree with the statement is because our country has a legacy of tolerance which is there even today. Not only has Aamir’s statement dented the image of the country but his own image has been dented,” Javadekar said.
An ambassador of ‘Incredible India’, a government’s campaign to promote tourism, Khan has been at the centre of a raging debate after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months.
“Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our life in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India… She fears for her child, she fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” the actor said on Monday in an interaction at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism ceremony organised by the Indian Express.
BJP’s national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain had said yesterday, “Where will Aamir and his family go other than India? There is no other better country like India and no better neighbour than a Hindu for an Indian Muslim. What is the situation in Muslim countries and Europe. There is intolerance everywhere.”
BJP MP and Hindutva leader Yogi Adityanath also has taken a swipe at Khan, and had said nobody has stopped him from leaving India if he wants to and it will help reduce the country’s population. Many other union ministers including M Venkaiah Naidu and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has also hit out at Khan’s remark.
However, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has said that the government should instead of branding all those who question it and the Prime Minister as “unpatriotic, anti- national or motivated” reach out to the people to understand what’s disturbing them.