As his film My Name Is Khan readies for release on Friday amid unprecedented security in Mumbai theatres, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan prayed for peace and said his integrity was “non-negotiable.”
Keeping his fingers crossed, the 44-year-old star also said his stardom was transient and that he wanted a “closure” in the tense row with the Shiv Sena, which has threatened to disrupt the film’s screening if he does not apologise for his remarks favouring the inclusion of Pakistani cricket players in the Indian Premier League.
“my stardom is transient. my integrity is non-negotiable... my being Indian unquestionable... hope peace prevails. hope misunderstandings get cleared. hope nobody is hurt. hope all leaders and activists have largesse of heart. hope...,” Mr. Khan, who is in Berlin for the premiere of his film, tweeted.
“nobody wants the Mumbaikars or their property hurt and destroyed. least of all me,” the actor said.
As many as 1,600 Shiv Sena activists have been arrested so far to ensure a peaceful release of the film.
Mr. Khan also said he was clarifying his stand for the last time and sought closure of the issue while praying for peace in the city, which he owed everything to.
“this also is the last time i clarify or say anything on this topic. this is not a justification, it’s just reiterating the facts,” he said.
“i may not have the same ideology as the Sena, but on the question of me being a patriot, i don’t think there should be any confusion. feel awful that Balasahib and Uddhav have misconstrued my words. The reactions of the Sena workers seem to make me believe that (sic),” he said.
The actor also hit out at detractors for alleging that the whole controversy was created to gain publicity for the film ahead of its release.
“i want to enjoy my film everywhere. i want to enjoy it within myself. And to sickos who think this is for publicity… 2 words SHUT UP!!,” wrote an angry Mr. Khan.
The actor said he decided to speak out because he wanted to clear the misunderstanding. “i have the courage of conviction by my side. i explain becos [because] better to do that, than create aggression and division in my country. i have no ego or false sense of pride. my words have been benign & without ill will to any person(s) or my nation (sic),” the actor said.
“don’t want mayhem anger and violence cos [because] of our beautiful film... which talks about repairing a bruised & divided world. writing not to justify but to spell out clearly who i am & my beliefs. seems otherwise i am misunderstood. should i write in block letters?,” he added.
“nationality: indian. born in: delhi. owe everything to: mumbai. loves: my country india, my family & freedom. desire: entertain all... ironic & sad. a film made for world peace has led to so much angst in my own house. my city. my country. let not anyone be hurt is all i pray (sic),” he said.