That the Shiv Sena has been riled up over Aamir Khan's recent remarks over intolerance in India should come as no surprise to anybody who knows even a little bit about how the famously right-wing political party functions. Yet, they frequently manage to exceed themselves.
The Punjab wing of the Sena has offered a monetary reward to anyone who "slaps" Aamir Khan, for his comments on intolerance in New Delhi. "We give an opportunity to the manager and employees of the hotel," said Rajeev Tandon of the organisation's Punjab unit, "and also the team of his film to slap Aamir and get Rs 1 lakh from us. The courageous and patriotic persons who will slap Aamir Khan in Ludhiana will get Rs 1 lakh reward per slap from us."
However Aditya Thackeray, the president of the party's youth wing, has said that the Sena doesn't endorse its Punjab wing's move.
The Shiv Sena Party has clearly stated today that it has absolutely nothing to do with the statement of offer of the slapping and so on.— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) November 26, 2015
On Wednesday, the Sena launched a bilious attack on the 50-year-old movie star. IANS reported that the Sena, in their editorial mouthpiece Saamna, called Khan "a self-appointed mullah" who had paid no heed to all the love and affection showered on him by the country even though he "poked fun at Hindu religious sentiments through his blockbuster movie PK."
Senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, who is Maharashtra's Environment Minister, went one step further by referring to Khan as a "snake". He told The Hindu: “He was a celebrated actor till now. But now it seems that we handed over milk to a snake. If he does not want to stay here, he can go to Pakistan.”
Even Home Minister Rajnath Singh, couldn't resist a barb on Khan, in his address to Parliament. "(BR Ambedkar) had to go through condemnation, insult and barbs, but he controlled his emotion and put forth and took an objective view for India," the Home Minister said, opening a special discussion on the Constitution in Parliament "Dr Ambedkar never wanted to leave the country despite all the insults he faces," he added.
The Winter Session of Parliament began on Thursday with a two-day special sitting to celebrate Constitution Day to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar.
Singh's comments come two days after Aamir Khan had spoken of instances of intolerance in the country.
At a journalism-awards ceremony in Delhi on Monday, Khan had said, "When I chat with Kiran at home, 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 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."
As several have pointed out by now, isn't such a reaction actually proving Khan right?
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