NEW DELHI: Bollywood veteran actor Anupam Kher who will lead his ‘March for India’ today in the national capital against the literary icons and artists returning their awards said the march was about believing in one’s own nation and that India did not need an ‘international stamp of approval’ on its tolerance levels.
“It was wonderful to meet the artists, painters, poets, thinkers, philosophers who will be participating in #MarchForIndia tomorrow at 10. Looking forward to meeting all proud Indians tomorrow at 10am at National Museum, Janpath. Jai Ho,” Kher tweeted on the eve of the march.
Ahead of the event he also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spare some time to talk with him so that he could convery the message of the people to him.
“Have requested PM @narendramodi ji to meet us tomorrow so that we #MarchForIndia people can share our thoughts with him,” the veteran actor tweeted.
He added that ‘due to overwhelming response’, the location of the march has been shifted from India Gate to National Museum, Janpath and from there they will walk to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Questioning the ‘Award Wapsi’ trend, the actor had said how could the protesters say that their freedom was being suppressed when they were openly being allowed to demonstrate and agitate.
“What can be a bigger example of freedom when on a daily basis you are saying things against the nation? There are those who have come out and openly expressed their dislike for the Prime Minister. The press has been given unmatched freedom to say whatever they want. I respect everyone’s views, but when someone slams my nation and insults it on an international level, it angers and saddens me,” Kher told ANI.
He expressed his confidence that if the agitating literary icons and artists made an attempt to convey their message to Prime Minister Modi then their pleas would not go unheard.
“I have written to the Prime Minister and also tweeted to him so that he gives me the time to speak to him. I also want to convey to him the message from the other side,” he added.
Talking about his march where Kher has invited all Indians to head to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to protest the voices being raised over “intolerance” in the country, the actor said that even if five people turned up for the event it would be significant enough for him.
Kher’s march comes in the wake of several filmmakers, writers and historians raising their voices against the rising intolerance and threatening the government with ‘Award Wapsi’ to vent their ire.