An angry audience booed Bollywood actor Anupam Kher as a debate on freedom of speech at the Tata Literature Live Festival heated up, according to The Huffington Post.
Kher, one of the speakers on the panel on a debate on the topic ‘freedom of expression is in imminent danger, spoke in favour of the motion along with BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli. Whereas, writer Shobha De and former BJP partisan Sudheendra Kulkarni spoke against it.
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The booing started when Kher brought up Shobha De’s past in his dialogue, saying she used to be an editor of a film magazine that “printed gossip about which star slept with whom”.
However, undeterred by the booing, Kher continued and said, “People have an agenda and cannot handle a chaiwala becoming a PM.”
As the booing continued, Kher said he had spoken to the festival organiser in the morning and expressed his concerns regarding a paid audience at the debate. This angered the audience even more and the booing did not stop.
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Kher’s wife, actress and BJP MP Kirron Kher, defended her husband but the audience ignored her and continued their protest. Kher later remarked that he was used to such reactions because of his experience as a theatre artist and therefore was unaffected by it.
Festival organiser Anil Dharker claimed that Kher’s trepidations regarding a paid audience at the debate were preposterous.
The motion was declared carried after a show of ballot pamphlets by the audience by moderator and former BBC anchor Nik Gowing.
This article originally appeared on Huffington Post.