New Delhi :
Veteran Bollywood actor and BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha today said that it is “nadaan” (childish) for some in Bollywood to say there is intolerance in the country, and that he does not agree with them.
“A lot of people from the film industry brought up the issues of intolerance in haste, and it is childish to do so. I don’t stand by them in this regard,” Sinha said during a session on the last day of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Sinha said he agreed with fellow actor Kajol’s remarks at the festival recently about there being “no barrier, no line, no caste or creed in Bollywood.”
“Only success is recognised here. I have never discriminated against who is a Bihari, a Hindu or a Muslim,” said the actor-turned politician.
Filmmaker Karan Johar on the inaugural day of the JLF had said that he believed the “talk about freedom of expression is the biggest joke in the world and democracy is the second biggest joke.”
Meanwhile, Sinha also asked his biographer Bharathi S Pradhan to read out a portion from “Anything But Khamosh: The Shatrughan Sinha Biography” at the festival.
The portion from the book talked about how Sinha had during the 1992 Bombay riots helped the current Imam Bukhari’s brother to escape to safety.
Responding to a question from the audience over low attendance in Rajya Sabha of star members like actor Rekha and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, the BJP MP said he would not have included such members who do “time-pass” in Parliament.
“I agree that such people shouldn’t be brought to the Rajya Sabha for time pass. This low attendance has always been there with celebrities being inducted into the Rajya Sabha merely to increase the prestige of the House. I don’t know how in today’s time the Parliament’s prestige is being increased. I would have given them something else but I wouldn’t have included them in the Rajya Sabha,” Sinha said.
The actor politician also clarified that he never wrote to the President seeking a pardon for Yakub Memon’s hanging, who was convicted of being a key figure behind the bombings in Mumbai.
The actor also spoke candidly about his extra-marital affair, which is included in his biography.
“I cheated on my wife only once when I was caught so called red-handed and my wife warned me not to ever repeat it... I have always maintained I am a one woman man,” Sinha said.