'Childish' of Bollywood to Speak of Intolerance: Shatrughan Sinha

'Childish' of Bollywood to Speak of Intolerance: Shatrughan Sinha

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. 

One of the chapters in his biography has 'Shotgun' talking about his off-screen intimacy with co-actor Reena Roy and how the relationship continued for sometime even after his marriage with Poonam.

"Before I got married, my problem was not whom to marry, but rather whom not to marry," Sinha said.

Calling his biography a work of labour written over 10 years, he said it should motivate people with no support in a new profession to be able to do well.

"This book is anything but 'Khamosh' and has been written with the younger generation in mind. In both films and politics I had no godfather. Nobody from my family, no trace of relatives in films and politics. This book demonstrates how a self made man has reached where he has. I must admit that the book is very honest, but not honest to the T," he said.

Sinha also recalled an embarrassing moment which had to be deleted from the biography.

Shatrughan Sinha, who is fond of eating green chillis with his meals, said he had once refused to board a flight because they were unable to arrange for green chillis.

"The airlines told me that there was no green chillis. I told them that I can't fly without it. It finally took them one hour to bring the chillis and then the flight took off. But I was so embarrassed when the flight captain came to me saying that it was perhaps the costliest green chilli in the world, because of the delay it caused," Sinha recollected.

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