Bollywood veteran actor, Anupam Kher who will lead his ‘March for India’ on Saturday in the national capital against the literary icons and artists returning their awards said the march was about believing in one’s own nation and that India did not need an ‘international stamp of approval’ on its tolerance levels.
“Patriotism gives us a feeling of self worth. Join us on this historical day at National Museum, Janpath at 10am,” Kher tweeted on Saturday morning.
Ahead of the event he also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spare some time to talk with him so that he could convey the message of the people to him.
Questioning the ‘Award Wapsi’ trend, the actor had said how could the protesters say that their freedom was being suppressed when they were openly being allowed to demonstrate and agitate.
“What can be a bigger example of freedom when on a daily basis you are saying things against the nation? There are those who have come out and openly expressed their dislike for the Prime Minister. The press has been given unmatched freedom to say whatever they want. I respect everyone’s views, but when someone slams my nation and insults it on an international level, it angers and saddens me,” Kher told ANI.
He expressed his confidence that if the agitating literary icons and artists made an attempt to convey their message to Prime Minister Modi then their pleas would not go unheard.
“I have written to the Prime Minister and also tweeted to him so that he gives me the time to speak to him. I also want to convey to him the message from the other side,” he added.
Talking about his march where Kher has invited all Indians to head to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to protest the voices being raised over “intolerance” in the country, the actor said that even if five people turned up for the event it would be significant enough for him.
Filmmakers Ashoke Pandit and Madhur Bhandarkar also came out in support of Kher. “Its a symbolic march. Me and Anupam Kher will be leading the march” Bhandarkar said.
“We all are with him (Anupam Kher), never thought it would turn so big” Pandit told ANI.
Kher’s march comes in the wake of several filmmakers, writers and historians raising their voices against the rising intolerance and threatening the government with ‘Award Wapsi’ to vent their ire.
Slamming Anupam Kher’s anti ‘Award Wapsi’ march, the Congress on Saturday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was putting his representatives out there instead of dealing with the situation himself.
“Anupam Kher’s wife is a Parliament member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the government believes that by putting the representatives out there, they can neutralize the situation,” Congress leader Rashid Alvi told ANI.
He asserted the government should understand that taking out a procession by their own representatives cannot rectify the situation, unless it carries out a probe against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who are continuously hampering the situation in the nation.