New Delhi, Nov 5: Bollywood Superstar Shah Rukh Khan's remark about growing intolerance within the country has opened a pandora box. Many motor mouth BJP leaders have turned him anti national. Some said that he should better move to Pakistan.
It is quite evident that political leaders are targetting King Khan for his 'extreme intolerance' remark. But then leaders know how to fish in troubled water.
Opposition says that Shah Rukh Khan is targetted for being Muslim. Congress said that Khan belongs to a freedom fighter's family, how can anyone say him as 'anti-national'.
It looks like political parties are giving twist to 'intolerance comment' according to their own convenience.
But then people are not so naïve that they would not understand the real motive of 'vitrolic' comment by the political leaders. The real reason is that the last phase of the Bihar assembly election is on Wednesday and parties better know how voters can be polarized.
Here are reactions on Khan's 'extreme intolerance within India' comment
People and parties who have spoken against Khan
BJP MP Yogi Adityanath
"Mujhe lagta hai Shah Rukh Khan ki bhasha mein aur Hafiz Saeed ki bhaasha mein koi antar nahi hai (I think there is no difference between the language of Shah Rukh Khan and Hafiz Saeed)".
BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya
Vijayvargiya said Shah Rukh's "soul" is in Pakistan though he lives in India. "Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India to be intolerant", he said in series of tweets.
Later he took back his comment and said that his comment was twisted.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Sadhvi Prachi
Motor-mouth Hindu rights activist termed Shah Rukh a "Pakistani agent". "By talking about returning the awards (including Padma Shri) he has committed treason. He should be punished for this. Not only Shah Rukh Khan, but all those who have returned their awards should be tried for treason", she said.
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari
Popular Bhojpuri singer and BJP leader Manoj Tiwari said, "He (Shah Rukh Khan) has issued a statement when the Bihar elections are going on. He has always been close to Congress party and his closeness has been seen before as well. I consider his statement as a political comment.
"If there was any kind of intolerance in the country, he wouldn't have been one of the top superstars in India. He should keep this fact in his mind that whatever statement he makes, it makes a big impact".
BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi
BJP leader claimed the Bollywood star had aired such views following an "Enforcement Directorate notice". "I want the world to know that he (Shah Rukh) received an ED notice on October 26 and India became intolerant on the 1st or 2nd of November," speaking on the sidelines of an event Lekhi said.
She further said, "And, when it comes to intolerance, then probably they are those illiterate people who do not know what the history of the country had been under Congress rule".
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev
When asked about his comment, Ramdev said." If Shahrukh is really concerned, he must give up his Padmashree Award".
"If he is willing to protest, he must also make a draft of all the money he made after winning the award and donate it to the Prime Minister's (relief) fund", he further added.
Minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla
She defended party leaders for targetting Khan. She said, "Had Shah Rukh Khan not said such things, my party men would not have commented anything. He gave them a point to talk on, they didn't start talking themselves."
Statement in support of Shah Rukh Khan
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh
Condemning BJP leaders remark over Khan's statement, Digvijaya said, "I strongly condemn Kailash Vijavargiya's statement. Modi should personally apologise to Shah Rukh. Shah Rukh don't worry we stand by you".
In another tweet, he said, "Kailash Vijavargiya National Gen Secy BJP-"Shah Rukh Khan is a Traitor" Do Modi and Amit Shah endorse his opinion? Would they act against him?".
Actor Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher who had acted with Shah Rukh Khan in number of movies including most popular "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" defended the star. Terming Khan true Indian, he said that "Yogi Adityanath is BJP's Digvijaya Singh."
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut
Raut was quoted as saying, "This country is tolerant and the Muslims are tolerant as well. Shah Rukh Khan should not be targeted only because he is a Muslim".
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu
He said, "Nobody should speak such nonsense. The statement made by one of the local functionaries in Karnataka is totally condemnable if he has made such remarks as per the media report. The party also does not approve of the comments made by a functionary against Shahrukh Khan".
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad
BJP leader defended Khan and said termed him as "proud Indian with extraordinary talent". He further said that "Shah Rukh Khan's late father was a freedom fighter of this country".
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli
"His (Adityanath) comments are incorrect and uncalled for. They do not reflect in any way the core belief of BJP or that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
There cannot be any comparison of any law-abiding Indian citizen with a terrorist like Hafiz Saeed, certainly not Khan who is a much loved and respected Indian national and artiste".
(With inputs from agency)