Aamir's comments may mar Parliament session

Last Updated : 24 November 2015, 20:25 IST
Last Updated : 24 November 2015, 20:25 IST

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Actor Aamir Khan’s statement on “rising intolerance” seems to have once again raked up a debate on the issue ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament beginning Thursday.

During an interaction at a journalism award ceremony here on Monday evening, the actor said his wife, Kiran Rao, wanted to leave India due to the growing insecurity in the country.

Aamir’s statement was endorsed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, setting off another bout of attack by the BJP and counterattack from the Opposition.
Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said: “We have already given notice for discussion on ‘intolerance’ and it should be admitted under Rule 193.”

Rahul also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the government should desist from branding people questioning Modi as “unpatriotic” and “motivated”, and instead reach out to them.

“Instead of branding all those who question the govt & Modiji as unpatriotic, anti-national or motivated…The govt would do better to reach out to people to understand what’s disturbing them,” said Rahul in a series of tweets.

Rahul’s support for Aamir came shortly after Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the actor’s remark tarnishes the image of India.

"We won’t let Aamir leave the country, he is safe. This kind of comment influenced by a politically motivated campaign insults those who have given so much honour to Aamir in India,” said Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.  The BJP fielded its spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain in Mumbai who said, “There is no better country like India and no better neighbour than a Hindu for an Indian Muslim.” Hussain also cited situations in Muslim countries and in Europe to argue that there is intolerance everywhere. 
Aamir’s comment came during the function attended by four Union ministers – Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal. 

The ministers did not react to the comment then, though one of them was apparently prodded by the anchor for a response. The BJP leaders pointed out that Aamir was not so candid in articulating his views on “intolerance” debate during an interview for a news channel on November 11. 

When the actor was asked to react on political events, since he had earlier expressed concerns on Gujarat, Narmada and gender discrimination issues, Aamir had said that he was not following political events in the last one year. 

Talking about the prime minister, whom he had met after the NDA came to power last May, Aamir had said that Modi has promised inclusion and that’s what we look up to him. In the same interview, the actor appreciated India’s openness to change. 

Published 24 November 2015, 20:01 IST

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