Actor Anupam Kher has been in the news recently for his support of the anti-award waapsi campaign . He has been quite vocal about his dislike for the practice of returning the awards. And the public hasn’t taken too kindly to his views. He even got booed at the Tata literature festival in Mumbai while debating free speech.
And now, during an interview with the BBC , Anupam Kher can be seen busily making sweeping statements, without of course, any fear of being heckled.
“For Economist or New York Times to say that my country is intolerant is sad. Because the biggest intolerance is in those countries. No Indian should call (sic) on the foreign forums India ‘intolerant’.”
But why not?
“This intolerance is not there since 2014 when Modi became the prime minister. Intolerance has been there. If you want to chose incidents, events, right from 1947 till now. The problem is that they are saying that intolerance has started now. I wish they said that ‘we have been living in intolerant times’.”
Because agreeing on when intolerance began is apparently the answer to the problem.
At the studio for a UN women’s conference, the anchor questions Kher about the unfortunate bullying of female journalists at the recent march .
“There are issues in life which happen and I apologise on behalf of the ‘gentleman’. The footage shows that he was shouting against (sic) her. The footage did not show that he was ‘hackling’. I don’t know what the actual meaning of ‘hackling’ is. But even if he was disrescpectful towards her, I apologised on that (sic). So, we have to finish the chapter.”
Here’s the dictionary meaning of heckling (just Google it if you please) from our side, Mr Kher.
“You are comparing very eminent 446 people with the thought process and opinions of millions who may not have (sic) the luxury of winning an award and coming to BBC and talk about their point of view.”
We’d like to say ‘Well said’ but isn’t that why those eminent people were elected? Just so that they could represent the millions of people and their voices.
The last wrench thrown in by the anchor questions Anupam’s stance of being partial towards BJP due to Kirron Kher, his wife, being an MP. Anupam’s response, you all:
“How does that matter? Does that stop me from being an Indian? Does that stop me being patriotic. Does that stop me from talking about my point of view?”
Honestly, it does not. But it just pushes you further more in the limelight which you love occupying. And instead of actually solving the intolerance issues what we have is Anupam Kher arguing about its timeline or deflecting responsibility for going on a march of tolerance where intolerance was the norm.
The stage is yours, Anupam Kher. When exactly are you planning to drop the facade and actually discuss the issue at hand instead of sweeping everything under the carpet? Or, as someone pointed out, maybe you actually need to first understand what the issue is instead of making those dubiously dogmatic, politically correct, sweeping statements.