Bollywood extends support to actor Aamir Khan for his remarks on ‘intolerance’

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 09:38 GMT, Nov 25, 2015 |

Indian film industry on Tuesday (November 24) came out in support of actor Aamir Khan after his remarks on intolerance in the country drew widespread criticism from various sections of the society.

The 50-year-old actor, speaking at an event organised by a media house in New Delhi on November 23 in the presence of leaders like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said he was alarmed at the rise in incidents of intolerance in the country and it’s very important for any society to have a sense of security.

However, his comments drew the ire of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other Hindu groups who protested outside Aamir’s residence, painted his posters black, burnt his effigy and asked for an apology for “hurting the sentiments of the country”.

Aamir, one of Indian cinema’s superstars, also said his wife Kiran Rao, a filmmaker, contemplated leaving India and settle abroad as she fears for her child.

“Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time Kiran says should we move out of India. That’s a disastrous and a very big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” he had said.

His comments were sucked into a swirling debate on intolerance as Hindu activists said he is free to leave India and settle somewhere else.

But film director, screenwriter and cinematographer Kabir Khan said Aamir should not be asked to leave India since he only voiced his concern. Kabir added he has also been perturbed by the intolerance in the country.

“I have spoken in the past and I am speaking it now that I also feel that the intolerance level is increasing. The way anyone is attacked when he speaks on intolerance shows the intolerance level. I think it is of no use asking Aamir Khan to leave the nation; he is just trying to say that he has been noticing intolerance level increasing in the past few months,” said Kabir.

Aamir, who was last seen in satire film “PK”, has raked up social issues several times, sometimes as an extension of promotional campaigns for his films. He lent his voice to Narmada Bachao Andolan, took up the cause of differently-abled children, and also hosted a social-based television show, Satyamev Jayate.

He is one of the highest paid actors and a recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, fourth and third highest civilian awards respectively. Aamir continues to be brand ambassador of government’s tourism campaign, Incredible India.