New Delhi: The Congress Party on Wednesday lashed out at senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kailash Vijayvargiya for his controversial comments on Shah Rukh Khan, saying the Bollywood superstar hailed from a family of freedom fighters so how could he be branded as a 'Pakistani'.
"I want to convey this to all those who are commenting irresponsibly on Shah Rukh, that he comes from a family of freedom fighters. How can he become a 'Pakistani' when his family fought for the freedom of this country? On the other hand, none of your family members have fought for the freedom of this country and you call yourself patriot?" Congress leader Rashid Alvi told ANI.
"The BJP want to further degrade the atmosphere in the country by commenting in this way," he added.
Coming down heavily on Vijaywargiya's comment, Alvi asked whether all those protesting against the rising intolerance in the country were 'Pakistanis'.
"This hasn't been told only by Shah Rukh, it has been said by many people in the country that the intolerance is rising. Is the President a Pakistani, is the RBI Governor a Pakistani. Are all those protesting artists Pakistanis?" he said.
Is the Congress Party Pakistani because we submitted a memorandum to the President? Just because Shah Rukh is a Muslim, to accuse him of being a Pakistani is highly condemnable," he added.
Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge also condemned the comments of Vijaywargiya for the Bollywood superstar, saying these kinds of statements brought bad name to the country and affected the foreign investment.
"If a person says something keeping the constitution in mind, these kinds of comments should not be made against him. Shah Rukh Khan has his own views, telling him to go to Pakistan for having an opinion is very unfortunate," he added.
Kharge also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence over communal tension, saying it was encouraging people to make such remarks.
"The Prime Minister is encouraging such statements, if he would have asked his leaders to refrain from making such comments, such a state would not be prevalent." he added.
Vijayvargiya had earlier painted Shah Rukh Khan as an "anti-nationalist" and condemned him over his "extreme intolerance" comment, saying his "soul" was in Pakistan though he lives in India.
"Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he thinks India to be intolerant," he said in a series of tweets amid mounting concerns over the "climate of intolerance" in the country.
"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," he said.
Shah Rukh had openly stated that there was an "extreme intolerance" in the country, saying 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.