The ban on Kamal Haasan's film "Vishwaroopam" and the controversy over social analyst Ashis Nandy's comments on caste and corruption in Jaipur reflected the intolerance of Indian policy makers and went against the "very grain of India", BJP MP Tarun Vijay has said.
"A silly ban on 'Vishwaroopam' and the misinformed controversy on Ashish Nandy's opinion show how intolerant Indian policy makers have become while the common people are tolerant, large-hearted, plural and democratic," Tarun Vijay said in a statement.
"One may disagree with Ashish Nandy on any number of issues, but his intellectual brilliance and integrity can't be questioned. Similarly, to ban 'Vishwaroopam' on flimsy, almost non-existent reasons shows an un-Indian attitude," the Rajya Sabha MP of the Bharatiya Janata Party said.
Nandy's comment on corruption and caste at the Jaipur Literature Festival led to several FIRs being filed against him. On Friday, the Supreme Court stepped in to stop the Rajasthan Police from arresting him.
"Vishwaroopam" was banned by the Tamil Nadu government for scenes that some Muslim groups found objectionable.
Posing a question, "Is this the India we are proud of", Tarun Vijay compared the ban on Kamal Haasan's mega budget spy thriller with the shooting of Mahatma Gandhi. Such bans, he said, show a "Talibanistic attitude".
Sixty-five years on, "the person" who assassinated Gandhi "still exists in the psyche of those who are intolerant to a different voice, just because it's different. However healthy, academic or artistic it might be in its content".
In Tarun Vijay's view, "to disagree and yet to be able to live with respect can happen only in the land of those who gave the world a unique concept of not just tolerating the different viewpoint but having a honourable place for the dissenters.
"If there is any thing derogatory, insulting and uncivil in a movie, please have the censor board cut it. But an innocent expression of ideas and opinion can't be a reason for persecution," he said.