Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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A Tricolour Twist In the 'Apolitical' Script

The Twitter-fuelled reinvention of Anupam Kher the actor as uber-nationalist gadfly

Big Break A Tricolour Twist In the 'Apolitical' Script

One of these days, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher was in for a pleasant surprise many thousand feet above the ground. In his hands was a paper napkin with the following message scribbled on it: ‘Nice words spoken Mr Kher, for Kashmiri Pandits, in your video.’ Words of praise coming not from just another fan, but from the captain of the flight—enough reason, surely, to warm the cockles of the 61-year-old showman’s heart. No wonder Kher is keeping the memento.

But what exactly has the man been saying that is pleasing men like that pilot in the sky? Last week he tweeted, “The only definition of NATIONALISM for Bharatwasis should be ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. Rest all are escape routes. :)” Again, at a recent debate organised by The Telegraph, Kher lambasted former Supreme Court judge Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly for saying that the Afzal Guru verdict was not good in law. “I’m shocked and ashamed and saddened by what you said Mr Ganguly...that you are calling the verdict of Supreme Court wrong.” Courageous words, to be sure. Statements like these clearly seem to appeal to a section of people. That’s why interviewing Kher these days could mean being interrupted again and again by people coming in to express support for what he says on political matters.

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