‘What lesson is he going to teach minorities’: Uproar in RS over Manohar Parrikar’s remarks against Aamir Khan
A brief uproar erupted in Rajya Sabha today over remarks by Manohar Parrikar against actor Aamir Khan even as the Defence Minister denied having said what was been quoted to him.
During the Zero Hour, Derek O'Brien (TMC) raised the issue of "dangerous" rise in religious fundamentalism in the country, saying the government, ministers and people associated with the ruling party were "shooting their mouths off every day".
"The Prime Minister needs to come and say these are in fact mistakes, this is not thinking of the government. Prime Minister come here and assure us that we can live in the India we know -- Unity in Diversity," he said.
As soon as he finished his Zero Hour mention, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad quoted a newspaper report which said 'Parrikar takes swipe at actor Aamir; Those who speak like this must be taught a lesson'.
"So may I ask him (Parrikar who was sitting in the House) what lesson he is going to teach us...The entire nation should be told what type of action and lesson he is going to teach the minorities of this country," Azad said.
To this, Parikar said: "I would only say one thing. Let the members see the video...and make up their mind".
However, Parrikar’s defence failed to pacify the agitated opposition.
Senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said what the minister had said was "highly objectionable".
"It is a matter that borders on the question of privilege. Tomorrow you are going to threaten me ... you will say there will be a social boycott, we will make them withdraw what they have said," he said.
Amid uproar, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien tried to pacify the members and said, "Minister says please see the video. It means he has not said (as quoted in media)".
Parrikar said he did not take anyone's name. "What is quoted is not what I have said. I never took the name of anyone, nor threatened anyone," the Defence Minister said in his defence.
Manohar Parrikar stirred a controversy on Saturday when he said that anyone speaking against the country must be "taught a lesson" while referring to alleged anti-national sloganeering at JNU earlier this year as well as remarks by an "actor" who "had said that his wife wants to live out of India".
"One actor had said that his wife wants to live out of India. It was an arrogant statement. If I am poor and my house is small, I will still love my house and always dream to make a bungalow out of it," he said, without naming Khan.
In November last year, the "PK" actor had joined the chorus against growing atmosphere of "intolerance", saying he was "alarmed" by the number of incidents with his wife Kiran Rao even suggesting that they leave the country.
"When I sit at home and talk to Kiran, she says 'Should we move out of India?' That's a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day.
"That does indicate that there is this sense of growing disquiet, there is growing despondency apart from alarm. You feel why this is happening, you feel low. That sense does exist in me," Khan had said.