Actor Anupam Kher was in the capital at a book launch of Karina Arora's first book, "The Spirit of the River" at India Habitat Centre. The actor there slammed "pseudo-intellectuals" for staying silent on videos showing soldiers being mistreated in Kashmir, saying sometimes it becomes necessary for one to show nationalism.
Noting that a new trend has emerged that whoever speaks for the country is said to have inclinations to the RSS or the BJP, the 62-year-old actor said, "We don't flaunt the label of being a nationalist, we carry nationalism in our hearts. But I feel sometimes it becomes necessary to show your nationalism."
He also criticised the human rights activists for "keeping mum" over the heckling of CRPF jawans who stood guard at a polling booth during the bypoll in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir recently.
"Sadly, we look at jawans just like the men in uniform.We don't look at them as sons, husbands, and fathers. Pseudo intellectuals remained quiet on the videos about how soldiers were mistreated recently. But when that video about a man being used as a human shield all those people turned up like a bear and started talking about human rights. And why is nobody talking about that video where the army saved nine people from drowning," he said.
He, however, stressed that there are many people in Kashmir who are in favour of development. Asked about Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's remark that Kashmiris are being killed by both the Army and the terrorists, Kher dubbed it as "unreal" and "stupid". "I will not justify whatever he has said by commenting on it. But I'll just say this that some people try to make their presence felt by giving out such ridiculous statements.
"They know if they will speak about growth and development of the country which is going on, nobody will be interested in listening to them. So they have to say something that is so stupid according to me. Which is so unreal that I don't want to dignify their remarks by commenting on them, "Kher said.
He also fired salvo at Lieutenant General (retired) H S Panag for his tweet where he condemned the armed forces for using a common man for protection from stone-pelting, calling that the image "will forever haunt the Indian Army and the nation".
Kher said, "It's sad that people are making such comments to get noticed." Asked if former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah was right in calling for the inclusion of separatists to bring about peace in the troubled state, he said it was unfortunate that someone like him (Abdullah) has said something like this.
"I feel saddened and rattled by their loss, they are only trying these things to stay relevant in the politics of Kashmir... And separatists have no existence if they don't talk like separatists. I feel the government of India should take back all the facilities given to them and pack them off to a place of anonymity," he said.