Kolkata: The debate on intolerance seems to be raging again in Bollywood. While Aamir Khan seems to be amending his comment on intolerance by saying “India is very tolerant but the hot head must be punished”, Anupam Kher now has come out blazing all the rich and intellectuals who find it fashionable to discuss intolerance over a glass of Champagne.
Kher says that only the rich and famous in the country are concerned about intolerance while the poor are concerned about their livelihoods.
He said these statements at an ABP Ananda event in Kolkata, the actor known for his pro-BJP leanings on social media said there was no nationwide debate on rising intolerance — a claim by opposition parties that accuse the Centre of not doing enough to rein in fringe right-wing elements.
Kher said the ‘biggest’ form of intolerance was during the time of Emergency when all those people who spoke against the government were jailed.
Mocking Rahul Gandhi, Kher said, “Congress is the most tolerant in India because they are tolerating a person whom they want to project as a prime minister of this country. If you can tolerate that person then you can tolerate anything in the world.”
Anupam Kher’s comments come amid a raging debate over intolerance and free speech in the country that was first triggered by the mob lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh over beef consumption rumours.
The burning alive of Dalit children in Faridabad, a string of incendiary comments by BJP leaders, the suicide of PhD student Rohith Vemula due to alleged caste discrimination and the murder of author MM Kalburgi, and the latest controversy of JNU, have provided more ammunition to opposition parties.
But Kher dismissed the argument, saying the opposition was talking about tolerance to take revenge because of the defeat they faced in the last elections.