Two days after he was under the eye of a storm over his comments about growing intolerance in the country, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan on Wednesday clarified that neither him nor his wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country as he is proud to be an Indian.
“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,” Khan said in a statement.
The brand ambassador of ‘Incredible India’ campaign also said that he is proud to be an Indian national and does not need anyone’s permission to prove his Indianness.
“Secondly, I stand by everything that I have said in my interview. To all those people who are calling me anti-national, I would like to say that I am proud to be an Indian, and I do not need anyone’s permission or endorsement for that,” he said.
“To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point,” he added.
Khan also thanked people who stood by him and appealed to the people to protect India’s integrity, diversity and inclusiveness.
“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,” he said.
Khan also ended his statement with a poem by Rabindranath Tagore.
“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 .Jai Hind,” his statement said.
Aamir Khan had on Monday joined the debate on the growing ‘intolerance’ and had said he was”alarmed” by a number of incidents, and that his wife Kiran Rao even suggested that they should probably leave the country.
“As an individual, as part of this country as a citizen, we read in the papers what is happening, we see it on the news and certainly, I have been alarmed. I can’t deny. I have been alarmed by a number of incidents,” Khan had said while speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards function.(ANI)