Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has said that the he stood by everything that he said on religious intolerance in the awards ceremony on Monday night in Delhi.
In a statement, the veteran actor said, ‘I stand by everything what I said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying. I do not need any certificate on patriotism from anyone. Those who are twisting my comments have either not seen my interview or are deliberately spreading the lies.”
He said neither he nor his wife planned to leave India adding that those who were hurling abuses on him were proving his fear on intolerance right.
He said, “Neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point.”
The actor, known to be perfectionist, thanked his supporters who had stood with him amidst the raging controversy.
He said, “To all the people who have stood by me, thank you. We have to protect what this beautiful and unique country of ours really stands for. We have to protect its integrity, diversity, inclusiveness, its many languages, its culture, its history, its tolerance, it’s concept of ‘ekantavada’, it’s love, sensitivity and its emotional strength.”
Aamir ended his statement with Rabindranath Tagore’s “Chitto jetha bhoyshunyo (Where the mind is without fear)” adding that it was a ‘prayer really.’
He wrote, “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, Where knowledge is free, Where the world has not been broken up into fragments, by narrow domestic walls, Where words come out from the depth of truth, Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection, Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way, Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit, Where the mind is led forward by thee, Into ever-widening thought and action, Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.”
Supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the RSS had launched unprecedented attack against the veteran actor for speaking on intolerance. While few BJP leaders had asked him to go to Pakistan, a Shiv Sena minister described him like a ‘snake.’
More to follow