Bollywood actor and director, Farhan Akhtar, has criticised those who were responsible for bringing the discourse on the comments made by Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan on religious intolerance to the level of ‘ street brawl.’
Speaking to journalist Faridoon Shahryar of BollywoodHungama.com, Farhan said that it was unfortunate to see the violent reactions in response to the comments made by Shah Rukh and Aamir on growing religious intolerance in India.
He said, “At the end of the day, I do believe that we live in a thriving democracy, where people have the freedom and the right to say what they are feeling and what’s troubling them. And there are people who have the right to disagree with them…
“Once that happens, the debate that needs to surround it or the discourse that needs to happen should happen at certain level of dignity. When it is brought down like a street brawl, you know when intentions are being questioned and you are being targetted (called anti national) is bit unfortunate. By targeting them or pointing fingers at them, you are just proving their point.”
Farhan, whose movie Wazir is up for release shortly, criticised media for increasingly misquoting the celebrities in its desperation to create sensational headlines.
He said, “Not just with Aamir and Shah Rukh, if anybody is misquoted, it’s very unfortunate. No one should be misquoted. When you speak to the press, the least you can expect is that the context in which you said something is put forward. The sensationalism at some level has taken over. (Now a days)The headlines are there to shock you.”
The recent protests by Shiv Sena against the Pakistani artists performing in India has cast a shadow on his another future release Raees starring Shah Rukh and Pakistani actor Mahira Khan. But the outspoken actor-director said that Mahira was still a part of Raees and he was very happy with her work.
He said that India and Pakistan needed to promote cultural ties between the artists of two countries.
He said, “As of now she’s in the film (Raees). Let the film come around to release. Right now the fact is that she’s in the film. We are happy with the work she’s doing in the film. Eventually, there has to be some a line of artists collaborating. We all respect what’s happening at the border. We all love our armed forces. But there’s a certain cutural exchange that needs to happen because ties between people are also very important in peace building process.”
On being asked if the artists were the soft targets for attack by lunatic elements in the society, Farhan said that ‘not just film personality’ but ‘most public figures’ were soft targets.
He said, “Not just film personality, most public figures are soft targets. But I feel it’s your responsibility as a person who belongs to same society that everyone is sharing that if there’s something on your mind, if there’s something that’s troubling you, you find the right way to do it. ”
Wazir is all set to release in the new year.