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Parrikar hints at Aamir, says those who speak like him must be taught a lesson

By Newsd
Updated on :
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar

Although not mentioning his name, it is being speculated that defence minister Manohar Parrikar was referring to Aamir Khan when he said those who speak against India must be “taught a lesson of his life”.

Speaking a book launch, Parrikar referred to the incident of an online trading company ending its contract with an actor due to a statements made by him which led to a reported loss of customers. In November 2015, Aamir Khan had spoken about a “sense of insecurity” resulting from the rising “intolerance” in the country. He added that his wife, Kiran Rao, was mulling leaving the country for the same. After Khan was severely critised on social media for his comments, his contract endorsing Snapdeal was not renewed.

“I am only trying to point out… if anyone speaks like this, he has to be taught a lesson of his life,” Parrikar said. “That was a very arrogant statement, we have to love our nation.”

The Congress has reacted to Parrikar’s jibe, calling it “shameful”. Senior party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, “Shameful that @manoharparrikar threatens ‘teaching a lesson’ to ‘actors’, instead of training his guns elsewhere.” He added, “Is @manoharparrikar job to protect India from external aggressors like Pakistan or threaten fellow countrymen like actor Aamir Khan?” Some of his other Tweets are below.

Back in November, Aamir Khan’s statements were in the wake of a debate on the alleged use of disproportionate force by security forces in Jammu & Kashmir. He had said, “There is a sense of fear more than there was earlier. I do feel there is a sense of insecurity. When I sit at home and talk to (wife) Kiran. Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet. Growing sense of despondency. You feel depressed, you feel low… why is it happening? This feeling exists in me too.”

Parrikar had joined the debate saying, “I will be very happy if we do not have to use the army anywhere in the country other than disaster management.” He also said the army has never violated human rights; it is working towards protecting them.

This debate is on-going. On July 8, the Supreme Court questioned the army’s presence in Manipur under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act). A petition was filed in the apex court against the alleged 1,528 fake encounters in the state. The top court said AFSPA mocks the process of democracy and depicts the failure of the civil administration and the armed forces.

The recent killing of Burhan Wani, commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, has also sparked a debate on extra judicial killings and use of force by authorities.