Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra defends Aamir, says India passing through tough times


India is going through tough times and we need a person who can ask questions, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra said in Panaji on Friday, while defending actor Aamir Khan for his comments on intolerance.

Speaking to reporters after an event at the 46th edition of the International Film Festival of India, Mehra, director of well-known blockbuster films like ‘Bhag Milha Bhag’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’, also said one has to work to make a country perfect and that running away from issues like intolerance do not help.

“In such a tough time for the country, we need a person who can ask questions… He (Aamir) is the true son of the soil. Nobody can question him nor does he have to prove it to anybody. Besides being a dear friend, I know him very closely. He is the same person who made ‘Sarfarosh’, ‘Mangal Pandey’, ‘Fanaa’, ‘Rang De Basanti’ and ‘Satyameva Jayate’,” Mehra said.

He said every earnest citizen has a right to question a country, its people and the administration.

“When we give the country so much, it is our right to question the country, ask people, ask administration. If we feel there is a problem, we should ask about it. A person who is quiet is also a culprit,” Mehra said.

Questioned about intolerance, Mehra said the phenomenon of intolerance dates back to thousands of years not just in India, but across the world.

“But that doesn’t mean we can quit and run away crying intolerance and hide in our homes. We have to make the country perfect and for that we will have to work, stay together and keep trying,” Mehra said.

At an event in New Delhi on Monday, Aamir said: “When I sit at home and talk to Kiran, for the first time she said, ‘Should we move out of India?’ Now that’s a very disastrous and a big comment to make to me.”

He was widely criticised for his comments.