New Delhi: Veteran actor and BJP supporter Anupam Kher is leading the #MarchForIndia to Rashtrapati Bhawan as a mark of protest against the #AwardWapsi movement artistes, writers and filmmakers who are returning their awards and labelling India as an intolerant country. Kher’s idea is to display the image #IndiaIsTolerant.
(Catch Exclusive Interview of Anupam Kher here: Anupam: India not an intolerant country)
This development is being watched as another showdown between the Government at the Centre and the Principal opposition party the Congress, and activists, writers and other civil society members who are talking about freedom and peace.
Kher before starting his march spoke to the media and said, “Indians from across the world are sending us messages, that India is one, India is great, India is tolerant. This march is a symbolic gesture on part of a lot of people over here, to sort of say that people or some section of the people who are wanting to coin a word called ‘intolerance’. we want to send a signal that there are millions and millions of Indians who do not think like that”.
“On my way to the National Museum, I met Sahtiyakar, poets, Award winners, who believe that India is moving towards development. Ups and down come and go in every country, but saying that the country is intolerant is a wrong thing”, Kher said.
Anupam on being asked whether he is doing this because he is a BJP supporter said, “Logo ka kaam hai kehna; log apni kamzori chupate hai kisi na kisi pe ilzam lagakar”.
“We do not need to learn how to become a nationalist or Rasthrabakht from any other country or nation. I feel that every day is an Independence Day”.
By holding this march, Anupam Kher wants to convey to the President that, India is a very tolerant country. Some people who have coined the word ‘intolerant’ are trying to say as if ‘intolerant’ events have not occurred in the past. But it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the world or Indians all over the world think in the same way. We are secular people; we do not believe in pseudo-secularisms, selective outrage or patriotism. Nobody has the right to call our country intolerant.
Speaking on his meeting with PM Modi Kher said, “There is a possibility, but till now no time has been decided as he is in Kashmir today, but as we get time will certainly like to meet him”.
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While Anupam Kher is marching upto the President house, Congress in the background of Pt. Nehru’s birthday is organising a conference on ‘No Peace without Freedom, No freedom without Peace’. Congress has called Anupam’s march ‘manufactured’.