“We haven’t forced you to join Indian Army” – Om Puri to Indian soldiers
When you hear an idol like Om Puri insult the martyrdom of Indian soldiers who work day and night to guard us all, across the border, against rivals like Pakistan, you’re sure to lose faith in humanity.
During a debate on IBN7, Om Puri said on Monday, “Did we force them to join the army? My father was also in the army. We are proud of them (soldiers). I am asking you, “Do you want India and Pakistan to become Israel and Palestine?”
“I don’t give a damn to Salman Khan or some other Khan. Go to Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and cancel their (Pakistani actors’) visas. Prepare 15-20 people as suicide bombers and send them to Pakistan.”
A police complaint has been filed against the veteran actor for his comments that were found to be insulting to Indian soldiers by a section of the film industry.
Complainant Prithvi Maske mentioned in the complaint, “Referring to the Indian Army and soldiers, he (Om Puri) said that we had not given the invitation to the soldiers of the Indian Army. They joined the army at their will.”
The complaint has been filed at the Andheri police station in Mumbai.
The actor faced flak on social media for these comments and within minutes #OmPuri started trending on Twitter. Celebrities including filmmaker Ashoke Pandit and veteran actor Anupam Kher came out against Om Puri after his comments on the channel.
The veteran actor had earlier come out in support of the Pakistani actors, saying art and politics should be kept separate and banning the artists will not change the situation.
Puri said Pakistani artistes are not working illegally here and if they are sent back, Indian producers, who have signed them for their films, will suffer heavy losses.
“When the government is taking an action, we all should stay quiet. It hardly matters if we send back the artists from Pakistan, who are working here, or let them stay. I have been to Pakistan six times and have met people from all strata,” the 65-year-old actor said here.
“I have always received love and warmth. If the Pakistani actors leave the projects they are doing here in middle, then people in India (filmmakers) will also face financial loss. Hence, this is insignificant. The actors have not come here through any illegal way. They have a valid visa. But, if the government will ask them to leave, then it is different,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after the police complaint, Puri said, “I am very embarrassed at what I said and I deserve punishment, not forgiveness. I first apologise to his (an Uri attack martyr) family, if at all they will forgive me, I apologise to the whole country, the army. I know it’s not justified that you say so much and then think a sorry will make it right.” He also added, “I am guilty and I deserve a punishment. I want to be tried by the army, I should be court-martialled. I want a constructive punishment,” Puri said. “The army should teach me how to use weapons and send me on the same site where that brave man was sacrificed himself for the country. I don’t want to be forgiven. I am pleading to the nation I want to be punished.”