“It is not possible to keep mum when some people are talking all the wrong things about our nation. Whoever loves this country cannot keep silent and keep listening to the anti-national rant.”
Accomplished film actor, Anupam Kher, has been in news recently for his frank opinion on national issues. Last year, when the issue of intolerance was being raised, taking the charge against the campaign he gave strong rebuttal to the secular intellectuals and their political masters. He also came up with a video expressing the grief and pain of Kashmiri Pandits. Few Days ago, in a programme organised by Anand Bazar Patrika at Kolakata, he logically rejected the arguments of people supporting anti-national sloganeering in the JNU. He totally rejects the allegation by some people that his praise for Prime Minister Modi is meant to secure berth for his wife Kirron Kher in the Union Cabinet. He argues that I do not bother about the people who perceive my nationalist thinking as ‘Modi Bhakti’, I will continue with my campaign. He spoke to Arun Kumar Singh of Panchjanya on contemporary issues, here are the excerpts:
- Cine stars obviously remain in news, but of late you are in news every second day. What is
What is wrong in this? Speaking for the nation is keeping me in news that is fine. It is not possible to keep mum when some people are talking all the wrong things about our nation. Whoever loves this country cannot keep silent and keep listening to the anti-national rant.
- Recently, you went to JNU. Considering the atmosphere there, some people argue that there was no need for you to visit the campus.
I went to JNU campus to promote my film, which has been in the process for a long time. I addressed thousands of students there and they listened to me carefully. It means the students accepted what I said there. Then who said what hardly makes any difference. There some people are arguing for breaking the nation, some others are supporting, this is not acceptable.
- In the ‘Telegraph’ function at Kolkata also you did not spare anybody. Did you go there with a prepared speech?
No, one cannot prepare a speech for such functions and I am anyway not use to it. I never deliver a written speech. There Justice Ashok Ganguli, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala etc said something which I could not agree. So I decided to counter them logically. The audience also encouraged me. The way discussion took place on my speech, I believe most of the people all over the country have the similar opinion. The thinking of Justice Ganguli and Surjewala has been rejected by people. No patriotic person would accept a person who supports breaking of the nation. ‘Telegraph’ programme just
- Whenever the Centre and Prime Minister Modi is under attack, you stand in their favour. Some people say you a ‘Modi-Bhakt’. What do you have to say about such allegations?
I am a citizen of this country. As a conscious citizen, I do or speak in favour of national interest. Nobody can stop me doing that. If some people perceive this as ‘Modi-Bhakti’ then this bhakti will continue. Let some people say whatever they want to.
- Your video on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits did a miracle which even big budget and multi-starrer movies find it difficult to achieve. How do you feel about it?
I have tried to take the voice of Kashmiri Pandits to the global level through the video. It went viral more than my expectations. This shows that common man of Bharat is against the injustice done to the Pandits of Kashmir. In fact, many people are not aware about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. They are displaced for more than two and half decades. The people and the forces that are responsible for the displacement and agony of our brethren should be exposed.
- You sometimes take a dig at the political leaders, or look off beat from the conventions of the film industry. What is the reason?
I do not want to comment if speaking for the nation or doing some work in the national interest is perceived by some as a dig at them or find it off beat. Only people can judge whether it is genuinely in national interest
- You were the hero of Mahesh Bhatt movie ‘Saransh’. Today we see the producer and hero of the movie on the extreme ends of the discourse. What is the reason?
See, Mahesh Bhatt is the person who gave me a break in the film industry. I respect him a lot. He is my Guru. Common courtesy says that a disciple should not speak against the mentor. I am a disciplined student, so I will not say anything against him. Still, it is a fact that our thinking is entirely different from each other. Everybody knows and realises that. Despite that it is not proper to speak against him.
- There are many actors and producers in Bollywood who get together and come in action in the national interest. What is the reason that you do not get recognition from the seculars of this country?
Some people keep invoking secular-non secular discussion to give importance to such people who are not even recongnised by many in the country. I do not bother about how does my views are perceived and by whom. If your intention is right then everything goes right. I hope that my views will be judged on this parameter.
- Is there any factionalism within the Bollywood which the nation or common masses do not know?
I am not aware of any such factionalism in bollywood.
- Why are you upset with Pakistan? You did not go to Karachi Literary Festival, despite the offer of visa by High Commissioner of Pakistan, Abdul Basit himself.
Everyone knows what happened before that. The people who were going with me got the visa and only my visa was held up. Understanding the reasons behind this, I thought it is not proper to go there.