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Manohar Parrikar's remarks against Aamir Khan create ruckus in Rajya Sabha
The Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's remarks against Bollywood actor Aamir Khan created a ruckus in the Rajya Sabha today, with opposition members alleging that the administration is targeting the minorities.

While commenting on Parrikar's remarks, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of Opposition said that the minister talked about teaching a lesson to those who talk the way Aamir did. "What type of lesson is he going to teach us? What kind of lesson is he going to teach the minorities," he asked. "We are with you against Pakistan but you are threatening us," he added.

Replying to the objections raised by the opposition, Manohar Parrikar urged the members to watch the video of his speech before arriving at any conclusion and not to follow media reports blindly. "I will only say one thing. Let the members see the video (of his speech) by themselves and make up their minds."

Despite this clarification, the opposition leaders continued their attack on the defence minister. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, "What is said is absolutely objectionable. Tomorrow are you going to threaten me that there will be a social boycott."

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav also attacked the defence minister saying said, "I have seen the video, and what he has said directly threatens the minorities. He is threatening the minorities and telling them that a lesson will be taught."

BSP leader Mayawati blamed the central government of targeting Dalits and minorities saying, "Ever since this government has come, they first targeted minorities, especially Muslims, and now Dalits are being targeted."

Recently, at a book launch event in Pune, Parrikar (without naming anyone) had said, "One actor said my wife wants to go out of India… it was an arrogant statement. However poor my family, is, however small my house is, I have to love my house and always aim to make a big bungalow out of it through right procedure…. You can't feel ashamed of your set up."

"How does someone dare to talk ill of this country… They were not speaking in Srinagar, they were speaking in Delhi. How does he have the courage to speak like this… I am not talking about any university, any organisation… Anyone who speaks like this he has to be taught a lesson," the minister added in what seems to be a reference to the incidents that took place in JNU in Delhi last year.

Last year in November, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan had joined the debate on growing "intolerance" in the country and said that he was "alarmed" by the number of incidents and his wife Kiran Rao even suggested him to leave the country.

"When I sit at home and talk to Kiran, 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 about 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. You feel why this is happening, you feel low. That sense does exist in me," Khan had said.

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