Actor Jaaved Jaaferi, who had to apologise on social media after being slammed for his comments on the Pulwama terrorist attack, says in an ideal democracy, diverse opinions should co-exist.
Javed, son of famous actor-comedian Jagdeep, told IANS here: "If my opinion is not similar to that of the popular voice, then calling it anti-national is wrong, and that is certainly not the way the world's largest democracy can function.
"Of course, these people who try to impose their opinion on others and suppress the choice of diverse opinion, are minuscule in number, but unfortunately, they are the noisemakers."
Following the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, Jaaferi had tweeted: "They call themselves 'Jaish-e-Mohammed'... What a shame hiding behind the name of the Prophet and indulging in such heinous, inhuman and cowardly acts in the name of Islam. Shame on all the religious organisations and governments that indirectly support them with their silence."
For this, he faced a lot of criticism, leading him to tweet: "My heartfelt apologies to my friends, followers and fellow Indians who got upset over a tweet of mine. I didn't mean it the way it was interpreted. It was a wrong choice of words. Please read my earlier tweets on my timeline condemning terrorists and Pakistan before judging."
Is he scared of expressing his opinion freely?
"That's what they want us to do... They want to suppress our voice if it does not match their noise. But I will not do that. I believe in a true democracy, everyone's voice should be heard, a difference of opinion should co-exist and there should not be any discrimination on any level."
The actor will soon to be seen in the upcoming ZEE5 web series "The Final Call".