New Delhi: Union Minister Giraraj Singh has called veteran actor Shabana Azmi, who is known to be quite vocal about her views on social and national issues, the "new leader" of 'tukde tukde' and 'award wapasi' gang.
Sharing a video of renowned actor saying, "If we criticise the government we are branded as anti-nationals", the BJP leader tweeted in Hindi, "Shabana Azmi is a new leader of 'tukde tukde' gang and 'award wapasi gang'".
In the same thread, a Twitter user posted an old video of Azmi attending a TV debate where Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari can be heard making a derogatory remark against her, saying, "I do not want to answer questions by a dancer, singer or a prostitute."
Hitting back at the Twitter user, Azmi on Monday tweeted, "For the record in Safdar Hashmi murder I took on HKL Bhagat of Congress publically. I challenged Imam Bukhari on national TV 4 which he called me a naachnewali n was condemned by both Houses of Parliament. Have spoken against triple talaq n halala repeatedly so who is selective?"
Quoting couplets from a poem by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, she wrote in another tweet, "Bol ke lab Aazaad hain tere Bol zabaan ab tak teri hai... Bol ke sach zinda hai ab tak Bol jo kuch kehna hai keh ley (speak, your lips are free, speak, your tongue is still yours. Speak as truth is still alive, so say what would you like to)."
Azmi, who has often been under fire from social media trolls for speaking on trending issue, said at an event in Indore on July 6 that anyone who criticises the government is branded as an anti-national.
"It is always necessary that we point out our flaws for the betterment of our country. If we do not, how can our conditions improve? But the atmosphere is such that if we criticise the government we are branded as anti-nationals. We should not be afraid, nobody needs their certificate," Azmi said without naming any political party.
"We have grown up in 'Ganga-Jamuni' (composite) culture. We should fight the situation and not kneel before it. India is a beautiful country. Any attempt to divide people cannot be good for this country," she said.