Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kailash Vijayvargiya today retracted his controversial ‘Bharat Virodhi’ remark for Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, saying it was not intended to ‘hurt anyone’s sentiments’.
“If India was ‘intolerant’ then Shah Rukh Khan would not be the most popular actor in the nation after Amitabh Bachchan. My tweet has been taken out of context. However, I take back what I said since I had no intention to hurt anyone’s sentiment,” Vijayvargiya tweeted.
Vijayvargiya had earlier called Shah Rukh Khan an “anti-nationalist” and condemned him over his “extreme intolerance” comment, saying his “soul” was in Pakistan though he lives in India.
“Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India to be intolerant,” he said in a series of tweets amid mounting concerns over the “growing intolerance” in the country.
“If this is not anti-nationalist, then what is it? India is making a bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations and all the anti-Indian forces, including Pakistan, are creating a conspiracy,” he said.
The BJP leader had earlier come under sharp criticism from the Opposition for his comments.
“Shah Rukh Khan comes from a family of freedom fighters. How can he become a ‘Pakistani’ when his family fought for the freedom of this country? On the other hand, none of your family members have fought for the freedom of this country and you call yourself patriot?” Congress leader Rashid Alvi said.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should personally apologise to Shah Rukh Khan.
Shah Rukh Khan had openly stated that there was an “extreme intolerance” in the country, and added that intolerance towards creativity and religion will hurt the country.
“There is intolerance, there is extreme intolerance… there is I think… there is growing intolerance,” he said.