New Delhi, Nov 24: Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday contradicted film star Aamir Khan's suggestion that there has been enough sense of "insecurity" in the society to make his family discuss the possibility of leaving India, saying the record shows otherwise.
"The record shows that the number of incidents of communal violence in country have come down since NDA came to power. Just to make a blatant statement that during NDA rule the country has become intolerant, it unnecessarily tarnishes the image of the country," said Rijiju, who is minister of state for home affairs.
This was a misplaced debate; there were many other issues which the society as a whole must come together and address, he added.
Aamir Khan said at the Ramnath Goenka Awards function, hosted by the Indian Express Group, that there was growing sense of disquiet in the country. His wife had wondered if they should leave India, the actor said and supported those returning their awards by saying this was one of the ways for the creative people to express their dissatisfaction.
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said: "Some isolated examples, however extreme, are exceptions to India's inherent tolerant nature. It would be unfortunate to let isolated examples be taken as a norm that defines India. Our Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and Aamir Khan, like any citizen, is entitled to his personal opinion. And anyone who disagrees with him also enjoys the same freedom."
"The very fact that the country was witnessing a free debate, including expression of dissent, was an evidence of a tolerant society. Can something like this happen in the neighbouring country?" Kohli added.