When Anupam Kher starts speaking, he does it all guns blazing.
Setting the right-wing ecosphere on fire this weekend is a video of Kher speaking at an ABP Ananda event in Kolkata. A visibly angry Kher roasts the Congress and ‘intolerance brigade’ for their campaign against PM Narendra Modi.
The actor, who was recently conferred with the Padma Bhushan, was speaking at the 'The Telegraph National Debate 2016', and the debate was titled 'Tolerance is the new Intolerance'.
Suhel Seth, actor Kajol and Anupam Kher spoke for the motion while Justice Asok Ganguly, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and Barkha Dutt spoke against it.
The Telegraph reported:
Justice Ganguly is the opening speaker for the panel opposing the motion. We hear about some kids who were arrested in Kerala in the 1960s for not singing the national anthem; he tells us that our philosophy is one of tolerance and that our Constitution practises tolerance. He states, quite sensibly, that he found the death sentence against Afzal Guru not good in law and its hasty execution unseemly. As Suhel Seth leans to Kajol to advise her, the judge shaheb talks about 'some university' and 'some students' and about something called 'freedom'.
This was followed with a speech by Kajol and Randeep. And here's where Anupam Kher took to the stage.
The Telegraph, clearly not amused at Anupam’s speech, chose to ‘report’ the event in the following manner:
After Surjewala it is the turn of the Loyen of the Kashmir, aka Anupam Kher. The shining pate rises and comes to the microphone. The poor instrument has perhaps only just begun to recover from the assault it has received from the stentorian voice of Suhel Seth, but that's too bad - Kher uses his vocal chords to pulverise it as if it's a cockroach of secularism. First, the Loyen will speak in Hindi, but keep the option to also molest English when he pleases.
Anupam’s supporters are however having a field day sharing the video online.
Here are five things Anupam Kher said in his speech
1. Slamming Ganguly, he takes a dig at his past, when allegations of harassment were leveled against the judge.
"I'm shocked and ashamed and saddened by what you said Mr Ganguly...that you are calling the verdict of Supreme Court was wrong.... You were hounded by the press and you were intolerant of them when there was a case against you. And today, you say that what happened in JNU was right?"
2. Turning to Randeep, he says:
"You forgot that 84' emergency was declared by Indira Gandhi, your leader. That was the biggest intolerance in the country, ever... everyone was put behind bars."
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, he says "The most tolerant people in the country is the Congress. They are tolerating a person who they want to project as the Prime Minister of this country... and can’t even say to each other that we are wrong."
"If you can tolerate that person, you can tolerate anything in the world," he says, adding that the party should let the Parliament function.
3. Defending claims that he was lenient to the BJP as his wife was an MP from the party, he says "I am married to Kirron for the last 30 years. I don't have to prove my loyalty to her by talking on behalf of the BJP."
4. He then goes to talk about how 'they' coined a word 'intolerant' to malign the Prime Minister's image. "You know who is talking about intolerance? The intellectuals, the rich, the famous who travel with 20 bodyguards."
5. He also takes a dig at the Telegraph's "Aunty-national" headline following Smriti Irani's speech. While seemingly pointing to the newspaper's editor-in-chief Aveek Sarkar, he says "You sir, you say 'aunty-national', and you consider a 45-year-old man a youth leader?"
Watch his full speech here.