Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has been caught in a controversy after taking a swipe at actor Aamir Khan for his last year’s comments on intolerance and indicating that a team was ordering and returning goods from Snapdeal — a company the actor was associated with — to create pressure on both.
The Congress launched a scathing attack on Manohar Parrikar, questioning if the minister is tasked with protecting India or threatening fellow citizens.
Without naming Mr Khan, Manohar Parrikar said his comments were “arrogant”. “How does someone dare to talk about this country? If anyone speaks like this, he has to be taught the lesson of his life,” he said at a function in Pune.
Without naming Snapdeal — for which Mr Khan was the brand ambassador at the time — he said after the actor’s statement, “many people broke relations with the company, many quit, the smart alec ones” placed orders and then returned them”.
“I know there was a team working on this which was telling people you order and return it… The company needs to be taught a lesson… They had to cancel their advertisement with the actor,” Manohar Parrikar added.
Following the issue, Mr Khan’s brand ambassadorship was not renewed.
Last November, while discussing the ongoing debate on intolerance, Mr Khan had explained how the growing incidents were giving rise to a “sense of insecurity” among people. In this context, he had spoken of his wife Kiran Rao’s apprehensions, saying it led her to think of leaving the country.
It had created a huge controversy and a police case was filed against the actor and Kiran Rao.
The Congress took on Manohar Parrikar with some biting comments.
Senior party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted, saying “Shameful that @manoharparrikar threatens ‘teaching a lesson’ to ‘actors’, instead of training his guns elsewhere.”