Mumbai: Filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Aamir Khan over his recent remarks on growing intolerance, saying the actor would not have been a star if the nation was intolerant. Pandit also said that 'pseudo-secularism' and 'pseudo intellectualism' have become a fashion in the country.
Aamir Khan and Ashoke Pandit
'I am very saddened by Aamir Khan's statement. If he wants to leave the country then he is free to do so. This country has given him stardom, the country has clapped for him and stood beside him. If this country was intolerant then Aamir Khan would not have been a star,' Pandit told ANI.
He also said that a trend is emerging in which a person speaking about intolerance is being considered intelligent.
'Aamir Khan and Kiran ji have divided the nation by making such a statement. Earlier, the division used to be between Hindus and Muslims and now it will be between tolerance and intolerance,' he added.
Meanwhile, actor Raza Murad spoke out in support of Aamir, saying the latter has every right to voice his opinion.
'It's easy to deny problems existing in the country from air conditioned rooms, one must go to the camps of Kashmiri Pandits or Muzaffarnagar victims to see how the people are living,' Murad told ANI.
Speaking at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Khan had yesterday expressed alarm and despondency over the rise in cases of intolerance in the last six to eight months. He said that a sense of 'insecurity' and 'fear' had seeped deep within the society.
'When I go home and talk to Kiran (Aamir's wife), for the first time she says, 'Should we move out of India?',' Khan said. 'She (Kiran Rao) fears for her child and what the atmosphere around us will be,' he added. Khan was later heavily rebuked by fellow actor Anupam Kher, who said that the actor should 'spread hope instead of fear'.
Expressing disappointment over Khan's remarks, Kher in a series of tweets asked if the actor would suggest millions of Indians to leave the country or to wait till the regime changes.
'Dear @aamir_khan. When did 'Incredible India' become 'Intolerant India' for you? Only in the last 7-8 months? #AtithiDevoBhavah. Did you tell Kiran that you have lived through more worse times in this country & but you never thought of moving out... Did you ask Kiran which country would she like to move out to? Did you tell her that this country has made you AAMIR KHAN,' he tweeted.