Kolkata: Extending her support to Bollywood star Aamir Khan by saying that it is his democratic right to say what he felt, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said no one has the right to ask someone to leave this country as this country belongs to everyone.
“No one has the right to ask someone to leave this country or go to Pakistan. We all are citizens of this country, India,” Banerjee said on Thursday.
She also lashed out at Hindutva groups, saying that no one has the right to kill someone for just consuming beef, as the Constitution of India grants the right to preach to each of its citizens.
“Nobody can say anything against them in this country. They will decide what we will say or not. Aamir has said something what he felt and what his wife told him, he just said that. He is being asked to leave the country. Who are you to ask someone to leave this country? This country belongs to everyone. This is our motherland,” Banerjee said while addressing a rally of the minorities.
Banerjee’s comment’s comes in the backdrop of countrywide criticism on Aamir Khan’s recent remark where he expressed “alarm and despondency” over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months.
“Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our life in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India…She fears for her child, she fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” the actor said in an interaction at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism ceremony organised by the Indian Express few days back.
Banerjee also criticised the statements against Shah Rukh Khan for his comments on intolerance. “They have criticised Aamir. They have also criticised Shah Rukh. They have criticised A R Rahman. Who are they to decide what we will say or what we will eat?” she asked.
Banerjee expressed apprehensions that the powers in Delhi might unleash CBI against her for her comments against intolerance and threat to communal harmony.
“If you say anything against them, they will engage CBI after you but you can’t shut my mouth by engaging CBI after me. They have threatened Mithun Chakraborty in such a way that he can’t even talk to me. He is an MP (Rajya Sabha) of our party,” she said.
Banerjee dared the Centre to put her jail “if they want to” as she was speaking against communalism. “Who are you to decide what we will eat or not? No one has the right to kill someone because he consumed beef. What will you do to me as I have consumed poultry? If you think you can put me in jail, I will stay in the jail of the masses and I will have some rest.”
“But you can’t stop me. I don’t care. Even if everybody in this country keeps mum out of fear, I will not stay mum. I will fight against injustice. We are all brothers and sisters and we all have equal rights,” she said.
Banerjee said the biggest question in front of the country is whether we shall be tolerant or intolerant.
“The question before the nation is whether we shall be tolerant or intolerant. The Constitution of India has granted equal rights to each and every citizen of this country. We should not mix religion with terrorism. Terrorism has no religion, caste or creed. Terrorists are terrorists, criminals are criminals,” she said.