Vijayvargiya, Sadhvi Prachi criticised for terming Shah Rukh ‘anti-national’

Veteran actors Sharmila Tagore, Aparna Sen and television personality-turned-politician Derek O’Brien have come down heavily on BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Sadhvi Prachi for calling Shah Rukh Khan “anti-national” and “Pakistani agent” over the actor’s "extreme intolerance" comment.

Reacting sharply to the BJP leader’s comments, Derek who is the national spokesperson of Trinamool Congress, termed Vijayvargiya’s remarks as "sickening".

"Sickening remarks against Shah Rukh Khan by BJP general secretary also Bengal in-charge. What kind of attitude is this? Everyone else is bad and only you are good?" Derek said in a statement.

Filmmaker and actor Aparna Sen lashed out at the controversial Hindutva figure and called for legal action against the VHP leader. "Can't believe Sadhvi's reaction to SRK on tv! They're ones who want to break the country apart! There should be legal action against her!," tweeted the three time National Award winner.

Yesteryear actress Sharmila Tagore also came out in support of Shah Rukh. She said, "The kind of intolerance we have witnessed in last one year has been unprecedented. The intolerance that we are experiencing is against our Constitution. The growing protests by scientists, filmmakers is to reclaim and restore what is India."

In a series of tweets, Vijayvargiya wrote, "Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India to be intolerant.”

“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.

"Shahrukh's comment about intolerance points that he is matching the tunes with Pakistan and anti-Indian forces. Today when the entire world is respecting India, talking about increase in intolerance makes the country weak in front of the world," the BJP leader said.

Sadhvi Prachi termed Shah Rukh as a "Pakistani agent" and said he should be sent to that country. "Shah Rukh Khan is an agent of neighbouring country Pakistan as he reflects their ideology. Such a man should go to Pakistan," she said while talking to reporters in a court complex in Muzaffarnagar.

On the occasion of his 50th birthday on Monday, Shah Rukh had said that the "extreme 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.

"It is stupid... It is stupid to be intolerant and this is our biggest issue not just an issue...Religious intolerance and not being secular in this country is the worst kind of crime that you can do as a patriot," he added.

"If there is intolerance to creativity, intolerance through religion, we are taking away every step that the nation is taking forward," he said.

A host of well-known writes, filmmakers, scientists and historians have also announced the return of awards and honours as a mark of protest against recent events like the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri of Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he had consumed beef, the murder of Kannada rationalist scholar M.M. Kalburgi, and the police "raid" in Delhi's Kerala House.