Controversial BJP MP Yogi Adityanath today compared Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of Mumbai carnage, over his “extreme intolerance” comment, in the second attack on the actor by a BJP leader in as many days, sparking condemnation. Hitting out at Shah Rukh two days after the actor added his voice to the protest by the intelligentsia against the ‘climate of intolerance’, Adityanath also suggested that he go to Pakistan. In another controversial remark, Adityanath, the MP from Gorakhpur, said Shah Rukh should remember that if a “huge mass” of people in the country would boycott his films then he would also have to wander on streets like a “normal Muslim”.
Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya yesterday in a series of tweets triggered a controversy when he painted Shah Rukh as an “anti-nationalist” and said that the actor’s “soul” is in Pakistan though he lives in India. Under fire for the remark, Vijayvargiya, a BJP General Secretary, today withdrew his controversial tweets but asserted that had there been intolerance in India, Shah Rukh would not have been the most popular actor after Amitabh Bachchan. He, however, refused to apologise for his remarks. The attack against Shah Rukh by BJP leaders came notwithstanding the refrain of BJP’s top brass in the recent weeks that partymen avoid sensitive comments.
Claiming that in the name of secularism some artists and authors with radical views have started speaking as “anti-nationals”, Adityanath said “unfortunately” Shah Rukh has also matched their voice and lent his support. According to Adityanath, this was not for the first time that Shah Rukh was doing this. “Shah Rukh Khan should remember that if a huge mass in society would boycot his films, he will also have to wander on streets like a normal Muslim….I am saying these people are speaking in a terrorist’ language. I think there is no difference between the language of Shah Rukh Khan and Hafiz Saeed,” he said.
“We welcome that people go there(Pakistan), at least people who defame India will understand their own originality,” he added. Congress said Adityanath’s statement was condemnable and said it would cause tension. “This is a condemnable statement and nobody can send an individual to Pakistan,” Congress leader Tom Vadakkan said while his party colleague P C Chacko feared such comments would create tension. “If you have views against the dispensation of this country you go to Pakistan… anybody wants to tweet something he has to go to Pakistan.. Are they trying to promote Pakistan tourism?,” asked Vadakkan. Sadhvi Prachi, a controversial Hindutva leader, had also hit out at Shah Rukh yesterday, dubbing him a “Pakistani agent” for his comment on Monday when he turned 50 that there was “extreme intolerance” in the country.