Bollywood scriptwriter Salim Khan feels Muslims need to put behind the memories of 2002 Gujarat riots and move forward while insisting that the community finds itself safe in the country.
“When my mother died I felt I won’t be able to live but I am alive today, even my father died long back. Should I cry till now? No one can justify that (the riots). It should never happen. I am sure Mr. Modi has learnt the lesson and that no one will die in his regime,” Salim, father of superstar Salman Khan, said.
“The Muslims find themselves safe in this country.
They only need basic amenities, job, education, food,” he said.
Mr. Khan, who called himself a former Congress loyalist, however, said he was disappointed with the party.
“I was a Congress loyal...I used to vote for them. I am disappointed with them on certain issues. But even if today they have any good candidate then I will support them,” he said.
He also said it is not the party but people who are secular.
“No party is secular, people are secular. I am secular. In my family, there are people following different religions. For me all religions are one,” he said.
Mr. Khan, a Muslim, is married to Sushila, a Maharashtrian Hindu, and yester year Bollywood actress Helen, daughter of an Anglo Indian father and Burmese mother.
He said political parties had offered him tickets several times to contest elections but he was not interested.
“I have friends in BJP, Shiv Sena as well. I have been offered ticket to contest elections but I am not interested in this,” he said.
Mr. Khans eldest son superstar Salman Khan had visited Gujarat recently to promote his film ‘Jai Ho’ and met BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi. The two appeared to have hit it off well as they appeared on national television flying kites after savouring a Gujarati lunch, but Mr. Salman Khan had steered clear of publicly endorsing Mr. Modi as future PM.
Launches Modi’s website in Urdu
Our Mumbai staff report adds:
Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s father and well-known scriptwriter Salim Khan on Wednesday launched the Urdu version of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s official website.
“I had given the suggestion of having the Urdu version of the website to Modiji. I share a personal equation with him, so we decided to launch the website here,” said Mr. Khan after launching the Urdu version at his home, along with BJP leader Shaina N C.
Mr. Khan has been defending Mr. Modi on the 2002 Gujarat riots. He had been pointing out that no riots have taken place in Gujarat in last 12 years.
Later in the day, Mr. Modi thanked the Mr. Khan via- Twitter for launching the Urdu version of his official website.
Mr. Khan however claimed that launching the Urdu version was not the BJP’s strategy for Muslim votes. “I have been a staunch supporter of the Congress till now. But I am not satisfied with the Congress this time and I will only vote after studying the candidates,” he said.
Earlier this year, Salman Khan had visited Gujarat during the promotion of his film Jai Ho, but had avoided to extend direct support to Mr. Mo