After Congress spokesperson Randeep S Surejwala lashed out on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar over his blow at actor Aamir Khan for remarks on intolerance, On Sunday party vice-president Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack by saying the minister want to teach everyone a lesson of hate.
In a tweet, Gandhi said:
RSS & Parrikarji want to teach everyone a lesson. Here's a lesson for you: hate is the preserve of the coward and it never wins
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 31, 2016
The opposition party also accused the BJP and RSS of a “concerted conspiracy” to hound Dalits, minorities, writers, actors and whoever dissents against the government and wondered whether Parrikar’s job is to protect India from external aggressors like Pakistan or threaten fellow countrymen.
On Saturday, Speaking at a book release in Pune, the Defence Minister had said that “An actor had said his wife was afraid of living in this country…. How does someone dare to talk about this country? If anyone speaks like this, he has to be taught the lesson of his life” in the same way that “an actor” and an “online trading company” were taught.
Although he took no names, Last year, Aamir had made the comment while speaking on the ongoing debate on intolerance, explaining how the growing incidents were affecting people. It had created a huge controversy and a police case was filed against him and his wife Kiran Rao too.
However after facing criticism from prime opposition party, Parrikar making his stand clear on Sunday said he never used the word “lesson” and that what he meant was, “You have to build pressure, you have to build public opinion that people who love their country should not be silent on these issues.”
“Those who speak against the country, there has to be a public opinion about that. I was not pointing out at anyone specifically,” he said at an event in Jabalpur. “I was speaking only about those who want bad for this country. I was not talking about freedom of speech.”
According to Parrikar, when the actor made the statement last year, many people had protested and even uninstalled the mobile application of an online shopping site he was associated with, while the firm had also pulled out the advertisement featuring him.