I have no intention of leaving India: Aamir Khan

Unperturbed by the stinging criticism from the BJP, and other Hindu groups over his remarks on the raging intolerance debate, actor Aamir Khan on Wednesday said he or his wife Kiran Rao had no intention of leaving India and his love for the country required no endorsements from anyone.

“First let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview, or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying,” said Mr. Khan in a statement that cited Rabindranath Tagore’s famous poem “Where the mind is without fear.”

Stating that he stood by his statements in his controversial interview made in Delhi during a journalism awards ceremony, an unfazed Khan said: “To all those people who are calling me anti-national, I would like to say that I am proud to be Indian, and I do not need anyone’s permission nor endorsement for that.”

Bollywood reactions:

Dibakar Banerjee, filmmaker

What Aamir has said is on the minds of millions of Indians who may not have a public platform. The silent, tax paying, working class majority of the citizens who want a happy, forward looking country for their children to grow up in. Instead of this shrill clown circus of jingoism that lynches, riots, hates and is angry against something or someone all the time, this is an insecure, inept and opportunistic minority of haters that pretends to be majority by sheer decibel level.

Me and my family have had the exact conversation. And like Aamir, we don't want to leave , we want to stay and fight for our country. And the fact that Aamir has spoken out means that he wants to engage in a debate that gives the silent majority of India a voice. Aamir represents that law abiding silent majority of India and should be praised for his candour and courage. He knew what was coming. The trolls, the shriekers, the jealous critics. Still he spoke. That's the courage of a true patriotic Indian.

The next two quotes we got yesterday but its not online and we don't know if they have been carried in the National editions elsewhere.

Shyam Benegal, filmmaker

I have no issues at all with what he has said. He said what he strongly feels. He has an opinion which he has expressed. There has been a general feeling, a tendency present in the government. The atrocities that took place against minorities were specific incidents. But the statements made about them by the government, such as we are an inclusive society, were very general. Even the president has spoken about it but nothing has come from our Prime Minister or from the highest level. This has led him to say this.

And when one gets affected time to time, one makes emotional, extreme statements. You say things like. Oh God! What kind of country are we living in?” I don’t blame them. They should be thought about a little coolly later, and analyse what it says about what is really happening. General statements by the government are not good enough, people are getting concerned, worried and insecure.

Anand Gandhi, filmmaker, (director of Ship of Theseus)

If you look at the video of him speaking, Aamir Khan has been extremely sensitive and reasonable. He has made an appeal for a collective retrospection. And one shouldn’t question someone like Aamir who has served the community in more ways than one, for making such an appeal. We should embrace it. We may disagree with him as well, but how can it be met with such massive anger? It is ironical. The leaving the country bit of his entire statement is being taken out of context.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 2:30:53 PM |

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