NEW DELHI: Shahrukh Khan, who found himself in the eye of a storm as BJP leaders and affiliates hit out at the actor for his comments on intolerance in India, has been invited to Pakistan by Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

The Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief tweeted, "Any such Muslim, even Shah Rukh who is facing difficulty and discrimination in India because of Islam are invited to stay in Pakistan.”

The JuD chief’s comment comes as BJP leader Yogi Adityanath compared Shah Rukh Khan with Hafiz Saeed. “These people speak the language of terrorists. There is no difference between the language of Shah Rukh Khan and (terror mastermind) Hafeez Saeed,” Adityanath said.“Shah Rukh Khan should remember that if a huge mass of people boycotts his films, he will also have to wander on streets like a normal Muslim,” the Gorakhpur MP added.

Adityanath’s comments came hours after BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya retracted his tweet telling Khan to “go to Pakistan.” "Shah Rukh Khan lives in India, but his heart is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he finds India intolerant,” Vijayvargiya had tweeted.

Vijayvargiya’s comments drew widespread condemnation, with the Twitterati spawning a hashtag #KailashVijayVargiyaLeaveIndia trending on Twitter.

The strong criticism of this comment from all political directions had Vijayvargiya retracting the tweet with, "I did not intent to hurt anyone. I take back my tweets." He further added for the course, that, "Shah Rukh wouldn't have been the most popular actor after Amitabh (Bachchan) had India been intolerant. My tweets were misunderstood by some." BJP ministers like Prakash Javadekar condemned his colleagues comments, although this is just part of the party’s continuous litany against dissenters.

Meanwhile, yoga guru Baba Ramdev hit out the Bollywood actor, saying that Khan should return his padmashree. "Sab hawabaazi hain (All these are empty talks). If Shahrukh is really concerned, he must give up his Padmashree Award," Ramdev said in Ranchi. "If he is willing to protest, he must also make a draft of all the money he made after winning the award and donate it to the Prime Minister's (relief) fund.”

On the same day, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari condemned Khan for the comments. "If there was any kind of intolerance in the country, he wouldn't have been one of the top superstars in India. He should keep this fact in his mind that whatever statement he makes, it makes a big impact,” Tiwari said.

Khan had said on his 50th birthday, "Religious intolerance, or intolerance of any kind, is the worst thing and will take us to the dark ages." He had joined the filmmakers, writers, scientists, artists and others who have returned awards in protest after the Dadri lynching provoked by falsehoods of beef eating and cow slaughter, and the assassination of rationalists and scholars.

“Go to Pakistan” has increased in decibels since the BJP government came to power at the centre with this becoming a refrain of sorts. The difference is that from being focused on the minorities this has been extended to include all dissenters including the writers, filmmakers, scientists and others who have come out in strong protest against the government and the Hindutva affiliates for fanning divisiveness and hate in the country.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Sadhvi Prachi for instance followed the BJP general secretary to attack Khan as a “Pakistani agent”. And went on to say, "Shah Rukh Khan is an agent of neighbouring country Pakistan as he reflects their (Pakistan's) ideology. Such a man should go to Pakistan." Filmmaker Aparna Sen was amongst those to condemn Prachi and issued an appeal for a joint representation to President Pranab Mukherjee to protest against this. “Can't believe Sadhvi's reaction to SRK on tv! They're ones who want to break the country apart! There should be legal action against her!" Sen tweeted.

The extreme right wing groups in India have always linked Pakistan to terrorism and both to the Indian minorities. During the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign the minorities were told over and over again to go to Pakistan if they did not want to vote for Narendra Modi. BJP’s Giriraj Singh for instance went a step further to threaten, "those who did not vote for Narendra Modi should be sent to Pakistan". The Election Commission at the time intervened to stop him from campaigning in Jharkhand but after the elections, he was included in the Council of Ministers at the centre by a grateful Prime Minister.

In the Bihar elections both Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Yadav were repeatedly told by BJP leaders to “go to Pakistan.” BJP MP Ashwani Kumar Choubey was strident, The Election Commission had banned Giriraj from campaigning in Bihar and Jharkhand but he won the election from Nawada and was rewarded with a berth in the Union ministry, "Lalu and Nitish Kumar should go to Pakistan after Bihar assembly polls outcome on November 8.” The same Giriraj Singh, as a Union Minister, claimed attacked the two leaders of the grand alliance with, "Jinnah's jinn (ghost) has entered in Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad and they want to make Bihar a Pakistan.

BJP president Amit Shah made the same linkages when he said that after if the grand alliance won the Bihar polls “crackers will be burst in Pakistan.” He asked a rally, "Do you want the return of Jungle Raaj-2? If by any mistake BJP loses, victory and defeat may be in Bihar but fire crackers will go off in Pakistan. Do you want crackers being burst in Pakistan?" He also invoked the name of a Muslim to claim that “gangsters” like Mohammad Shahabuddin would criminaShah also said if the grand alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress win, then "gangsters" like Mohammad Shahabuddin, a RJD leader presently lodged in jail, will celebrate.

Advocating a ban on cow slaughter, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that all those who wanted to eat beef could go to Pakistan.“Those who are dying without eating beef can go to Pakistan or Arab countries or any other part of [the] world where it is available," the BJP Minister said.

The public intellectuals who have taken a position against the RSS/BJP and the affiliates for seeking to divide India are all now under attack for being “agents” of Pakistan. The social media has been flooded by the Hindutva trolls questioning their ‘patriotism’, ‘nationalism’ and insisting that they are working for Pakistan. Words like ‘sedition’, ‘anti-nationals’, ‘traitors’ are being used freely while the government watches in silence and Ministers join the cacophony with impunity.