Veteran actor Anupam Kher has always been outspoken on the intolerance row. This time, at the ninth edition of Jaipur Literature Festival, when asked on the issue, he said that it is ironical that only the higher-strata of society feels unsafe.
“It is ironical that this ‘intolerance’ and ‘lack of freedom of speech’ is only felt by rich intellectuals who roam around with bodyguards,” he said.
Referring specifically to the Kashmiri Pundits issue, the 60-year-old actor said he did not see or has seen anybody returning their national awards when four lakh members of that community were rendered homeless and stateless for the past 26 years.
“We cannot have outrage which is selective or unhappiness about certain things. So, when people talk about intolerance, I react because I have never seen people raising their voices or returning awards for those four lakh Kashmiri Pundits who for the past 26 years are struggling as refugees in their own country. This is what I call intolerance,” he said.
Anupam Kher has adopted a Kashmiri Pundit family in the remote village of Zadroo, Pulwama, in South Kashmir. They were one of the few Pundits who chose to stay on in the valley after others had fled following the start of militancy in 1989.