Munawwar Rana says PMO contacted him first, Anupam Kher’s meeting with Modi fake

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Renowned Urdu poet, Munawwar Rana, has described actor Anupam Kher’s meeting with Prime Minister Modi fake.

Rana has locked horns with the Bollywood actor over the issue of whether he [Rana] had sought a meeting with the PM, or Modi had invited him first.

Rana didn’t mince words when he tweeted on Tuesday, “Anupam Kher’s meeting with the PM fake.”

Kher claimed when he met Modi on 7 November, the PM told him that Rana had sought time to meet him. But the Lucknow-based poet refutes this claim, saying the actor possibly heard it wrong from the PM.

Then, in a series of tweets in Hindi, Rana, who returned his Sahitya Akademi award to protest rising intolerance in the country and the lynching of an innocent Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri, clarified his position. “It’s possible that Anupan Kher heard it wrong because nothing like that happened,” he wrote on his twitter handle.

Rana, 62, who was awarded the Sahitya Akademi in 2014 for his book ‘Shahdaba’, also attached a screenshot of an ANI tweet in which Kher was quoted.

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Clarifying his position further, Rana posted several tweets on Tuesday and also attached a copy of a story in a Hindi newspaper that had published his views on Kher meeting Modi. This tweet read, “Anupam Kher’s meeting with the PM fake.”

Rana followed this with five more tweets in Hindi in which he gave the sequence of events over his ‘meeting’ with Modi that has so far not taken place.

“The PMO contacted me on 20 October and invited me to meet him alone on 21 October at 4.30 pm,” he tweeted in Hindi. “I said that this issue is not about me alone. You invite 10-12 writers so that we could talk in the interest of the country.”

Rana further tweeted, “A PMO functionary told me that inviting other writers could take time, and that he would let me know after talking to them. Since that day (20 October) the PMO has not contacted me.”

After this, Rana posted another tweet, saying that Kher possibly heard it wrong that ‘I wanted to meet the PM.’

Kher, who doesn’t agree that India is becoming intolerant, had referred to his 7 November meeting with the PM, along with a delegation comprising actors, producers and directors, after the ‘March For India’ he organised that day.

The march was organised to oppose those renowned scholars, historians, scientists and filmmakers, who complained of India becoming intolerant under Modi.

The march, however, turned intolerant after a female journalist covering the event made serious allegations of being abused, heckled and threatened by participants.

Since the killing of Kalburgi – and specifically after Akhlaq’s murder – many Bollywood directors, producers, writers, including Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Keki N Daruwallah, Uday Prakash, returned their various nationals on the issue of intolerance.

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