Jaipur, (The Telegraph): Actress Kajol today said that "some people have become oversensitive" nowadays, forcing others to measure their words in public, although she did not refer directly to the intolerance debate in the country.
"I have always spoken my mann ki baat (spoken my mind) and never bothered. But yes, there is a certain sensitivity in the country today," she said at the Jaipur Literature Festival while launching Ashwin Sanghi's novel The Sialkot Saga.
"People have become a little more sensitive nowadays. Words are being measured, words are being chosen carefully: whether I should I say this or not. Or, whether my words would be taken in the right context. Some people have become oversensitive."
She added: "As public personalities and giving credit to our intelligence, it is our duty to speak well and speak right."
Several of Kajol's Bollywood co-workers have in recent weeks faced a public backlash, mostly from BJP and Sangh representatives and sympathisers, for speaking out against the growing intolerance in the country.
Actor Aamir Khan was attacked even by some of his Bollywood colleagues after he said his wife had wondered whether the family should leave India because of the atmosphere of intolerance.
Earlier, a senior BJP official had accused Shah Rukh Khan of "treason" after the actor spoke out against intolerance.
Karan Johar, who directed Kajol in several films, is now facing a Twitter backlash over his comments at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Thursday.
"Do I need to fight the governance?" Johar had said. "We're fighting the censor with every film. You can't write anything, you can't say anything. How are we democratic then?"
Kajol, however, claimed there was no intolerance in the Hindi film industry when she was asked about Bollywood's easy acceptance of former adult-film actress Sunny Leone.
"There is no intolerance in Bollywood and everyone is welcome. There are no distinctions between caste, creed and religion here at least," Kajol said.
She denied a suggestion that books need celebrity endorsements to sell.
"I completely disagree," the actress, known as a voracious reader, said. "An author becomes (sic) bestseller plainly because of his writings and not on recommendations."
Kajol said she had agreed to marry actor Ajay Devgn only after he promised her a library like the one in the Hollywood film Beauty and the Beast. "I actually have a library in three of my rooms," she said.
She credited her mother, Tanuja, for inculcating the habit of reading in her. "I don't remember a time when I didn't see a book around my mother. She had a 400-book library in her room right above her head," Kajol said.
The actress was at the festival to launch Ashwin Sanghi's book The Sialkot Saga. Kajol said she had been introduced to Sanghi's work by her mother.
Tanuja had accompanied her to venue.
Photo credit: The Telegraph
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