Bollywood actor Asutosh Rana on Saturday said the reaction to Aamir Khan’s comments on intolerance was a shining example of how intolerant India had become.
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rana said that difference between his government and his predecessors was that while the previous government was quick to condemn the acts of bigotry, this government had been mysteriously ‘maun(silent)’ on such acts.
“In the previous government whenever such religious violence took place, people from the top were quick to condemn. That’s not happening now and that prompts people to doubt if the people who are behind current religious violence enjoy the government’s blessings.”
He said, “The downfall of previous government was because it did not speak. This government too has a head, who doesn’t speak.”
Rana, while taking part in a conclave organised by Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, said the protests by intellectuals to return their awards against growing religious intolerance was like Mahatma Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience movement against the British.
He said, “There’s nothing wrong in showing your protest by returning awards. It’s exactly the same what Mahatma Gandhi did through his savinay avigya andolan (Civil Disobedience movement) against Britishers. Award wapsi’ is not a wrong way to protest. People who returned their awards did not resort to any violence. They did not cause riots, burn any trains, organise rallies or bandhs.”
Commenting on Aamir Khan’s comments that his wife Kiran Rao wanted to leave India, Rana said, “We all face such situation when we threaten to leave our house, but do we actually do that? In my opinion what followed Aamir’s comments was intolerance.”
When asked if celebrities like Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan, who enjoy the cover of ‘hundreds of bouncers’ needed to worry about their safety, Rana said, “aise logon ko hi khatra zyada hota hai. vipatti usi ko gherti hai jiske paas sampatti hoti hai (Such people face bigger threats. Those who have wealth become targets of tragedy.)”
He added, ““If someone gives a statement on intolerance, we should discuss the statement, rather than person, who made that statement. We should not pull down the person and criticise his achievements. The person has done shows like ‘Satyamev Jayate’.”
Rana’s defence for Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and other intellectuals protesting against religious intolerance has made him a twitter sensation.
Within minutes of his remarks being reported, he had become a centre of intense conversation by social media users.
Here’s a snapshot of twitter conversation on Asutosh Rana;
Ashutosh Rana _/\_ Very well spoken Speech/Debate . #Agenda15
— Rizwan Khan (@iamrizkhan8970) December 12, 2015
Ashutosh Rana is not only a great actor but a great speaker as well. Now wait for Bhakts and wannabes like Anupam Kher to troll him.
— Aneesh Chandoke (@AneeshChandoke) December 12, 2015
U nailed it! If sm1 gives a statement on intolerance, we shd discuss statement, rather than person makin dat stmt: Ashutosh Rana #Agenda15
— SoulSpeek (@soulspeek) December 12, 2015
Bravo Ashutosh Rana , Still no comment or any tweets from Anupam Kher 😮 missed so much RTs from bhakt 😛
— Mrs. Shah Rukh Khan (@SRKkiSoni) December 12, 2015
— Venkatesh Prasad (@cgvenky) December 12, 2015
What a debate #Agenda15 , very impressive speech by ashutosh rana, his hindi is better than most of top leaders
— Haaris khan (@haariskhan1900) December 12, 2015
मेरी असहमति को आप अपना विरोध क्यों मान रहे हैं? well said Ashutosh Rana
— V-wake (@asrivivek) December 12, 2015