Pune, Nov 25: Slamming Aamir Khan's critics, NCP president Sharad Pawar today said the tone and tenor of the reactions to the actor's statement on intolerance actually lent substance to the debate on the issue.
"The reactions to Aamir Khan's statement have given substance to the debate on intolerance in the country. To say that he got his wealth in India itself amounts to an intolerant attitude. He got his money from his acting and nobody donated it to him," he told reporters at Karad in Satara district.
He said the comment that the actor could leave the country if he wanted to was also indicative of intolerance. "The country is not any body's private property," the veteran leader said.
However, when he was yesterday asked about the actor's comments, while he was at Pogarwadi in Satara district to call on the bereaved family of Colonel Santosh Mahadik who recently died in a gunbattle with militants in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, Pawar had said, "This (the brave officer's sacrifice) is more serious than that."
Aamir had on Monday said he was "alarmed" by a number of incidents and his wife Kiran Rao even suggested that they should probably leave the country, drawing sharp reactions from the BJP and sections in the film industry.
The 50-year-old actor also supported those returning their awards, saying one of the ways for creative people to express their dissatisfaction or disappointment is to return their awards.
He said he also feels that the sense of insecurity and fear has been growing in the past six or eight months. Khan is the ambassador of 'Incredible India', a government's campaign to promote tourism.
The BJP had yesterday fielded its national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain to launch a counter attack on Khan.
"Where will Aamir and his family go other than India? There is no other better country like India and no better neighbour than a Hindu for an Indian Muslim. What is the situation in Muslim countries and Europe. There is intolerance everywhere," Hussain said.
Shielding him from the attack, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had said the government should instead of branding all those who question it and the Prime Minister as "unpatriotic, anti-national or motivated" reach out to people to understand what's disturbing them.