More BJP leaders target Shah Rukh

Film star Shah Rukh Khan has found himself at the receiving end of a flurry of attacks and charges from BJP leaders over the past two days, with yoga guru Ramdev also chipping in to take a dig at the actor.

Mr. Khan had recently spoken out against “increasing intolerance”, thus coming out in symbolic support of writers and film-makers who had been returning awards in protest.

The tone of the attacks was varied: while BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Yogi Adityanath questioned his nationalist credentials, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said that he had expressed concern just after an Enforcement Directorate notice to him.

Mr. Vijayvargiya had said that the actor lived in India but his heart was in Pakistan. Mr. Adityanath had gone a step further, comparing Mr. Khan to militant mastermind Hafiz Saeed. Both had said that the actor had joined people who were giving India a bad name.

While Mr. Vijayvargiya retracted his tweet after controversy and said he didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, he seemed to harden his stand yet again early on Thursday when he said that no one who harmed the image of India would be spared.

“I have closed this particular chapter after I retracted my tweet. But India will soon be a member of the U.N. Security Council. And Pakistan and some other powers don’t want that. We won’t let anyone tarnish nation’s image. Be it anyone. People who disrespect the nation won’t be spared,” he told the media.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh was reported by TV channels as saying that Mr. Khan’s heart was in another country and he could go there.

‘Return Padma Shri’

Ramdev upped the ante against Mr. Khan. Taking a dig at Mr. Khan, he said that the actor should return his Padma Shri award if he indeed wanted to protest.

“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,” the yoga guru said.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said there was intolerance in Congress days. “While Yusuf Khan had to adopt the name Dilip Kumar in his times, now Muslim actors go with their Muslim names and people accept them as such. There is no country safer for Muslims than India and there are no neighbours better than Hindus,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 1:17:45 PM |

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