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'Intolerant' Hindutva activists protest against Aamir Khan; Tejaswi, Kejriwal extend support
Tuesday November 24, 2015 7:12 PM, Agencies

Patna/Panaji/Mumbaii/New Delhi:
After Congress and the Delhi chief minister, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav on Tuesday came out in support of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan who has created a furore by his remarks on increase in intolerance in the country.

"Aamir Khan is right that intolerance has increased in the country. Several artists, writers and others have announced return of their national awards in protest," Tejaswi, the younger son of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, told the media here.

Tejaswi said several other celebrities before Aamir Khan have publicly stated that intolerance has increased in the country.

"Many people will say the same thing on intolerance in the coming days as well," he said.

"We will fight against increasing intolerance in the country," the RJD leader said while criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party and other organisations over the issue.

"The central government must now wake up before it is too late to check and control intolerance," the deputy chief minister added.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal supported the actor, and tweeted: "BJP should stop silencing voices through abuses and threats. It's high time that the central government took concrete steps to instill a sense of security amongst people."

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said that it was sad that Bollywood star Aamir Khan and his filmmaker wife Kiran Rao, who is a Hindu, felt like leaving India in the face of intolerance.

Digvijaya Singh was talking to reporters after a press conference at the Congress state headquarters, after a review meeting of the state unit's executive committee.

"It's sad that Aamir Khan, who is an icon among film actors not only in India, but across the world, is feeling the same thing.

"His wife is Hindu, she has also felt it, that with this kind of uncultured and intolerant atmosphere, it looks like those who are fighting against this will have to leave the country. This is a serious issue," Digvijaya Singh said.

He described Kiran as a Hindu and a Brahmin by caste.

Tejaswi Yadav, Kejriwal and Digvijaya Singh was reacting to a comment made by Aamir Khan on Monday.

"Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, 'Should we move out of India?' That's a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet," Aamir Khan had said.

The actor's comment has attracted sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party, with party MP Yogi Adityanath even equating it with treason.

"I saw a member of parliament who said Aamir Khan has given a statement which is tantamount to treason. I believe that the BJP MP does not know the meaning of treason," Digvijaya Singh said.

Meanwhile, activists of the Hindu Sena on Tuesday staged a vociferous demonstration outside the home of Bollywood megastar Aaamir Khan protesting against his statements on intolerance.

The activists shouted slogans like "Aamir Khan murdabad", "Aamir Khan chale jao", and attempted to force their way inside the actor's home in Bandra but were prevented by a substantial police presence there.

Later, around a dozen activists were detained and taken to the Bandra police station.

An official said police have deployed in adequate numbers to prevent any untoward incident.

On the issue of beefing up security, the official said that would be decided by a separate department depending on the requirement.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was on a visit to Solapur, declined to comment on Aamir Khan's remarks.

"I have better things to do than react to all such statements. There are more pressing issues of the state than talking about these things," Fadnavis told media persons.

In Pune, state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam termed Aamir Khan's comments as "treason" and said the actor was welcome to go to Pakistan if he felt so insecure in India.

"In India, we gave you so much love -- Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. We looked at your art and not your religion. Does it mean we have been feeding milk to a snake?" Kadam said.

In Satara, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday declined to react to Aamir Khan's remarks while offering condolences to the family of Col. Santosh Mahadik of the Indian Army who died fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir.


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