Inside Story

Is India becoming increasingly intolerant?

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan faces backlash over what he describes as growing intolerance and insecurity in India.

He is one of Bollywood’s best loved actors. And a man who is not afraid to take a stand on an issue.

But Aamir Khan has stirred debate and controversy after voicing his alarm at what he says is a growing sense of intolerance and insecurity in India.

Other Indians share the feeling their society has become more polarised – and that the government is doing little to allay the fears of minorities.

However, Khan’s comments have also sparked a fierce backlash. Protestors have denounced him, saying he is unpatriotic and a traitor.

Politicians in the ruling party, the BJP, have also voiced their objection. Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju says Khan’s comments on intolerance “only bring down the image of the country and the prime minister”.

Khan says the response only proves his point that India is becoming more intolerant?

So, is he right?

And what role does the government play in India’s changing atmosphere?

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Zoya Hasan, Political Scientist and National Fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research

Tarun Vijay, Member of parliament for the ruling BJP

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Author and filmmaker.