Aamir’s remark damaged India as a brand: Amitabh Kant

New Delhi, Jan. 19 (ANI): Hitting out at Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan for his comment on intolerance, Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said that his remark had destroyed the India as a brand.

Defending the government’s move to replace Khan as the brand ambassador of Incredible India, Kant said the actor’s remarks on intolerance damaged the brand identity of the country.

“A brand ambassador promotes the brand. People will come to India and the tourist flow will increase only if the brand ambassador of `Incredible India’ promotes India. But if the brand ambassador of India says that India is intolerant, he is surely not doing his job,” he said.

Kant further said that people will not come to India after hearing Khan’s comments.

“The brand ambassador must be the best brand ambassador for promoting and marketing India, he cannot be the destroyer of the brand,” he said.

Incredible India is a government campaign to promote the country overseas.

Khan was in the eye of a storm for his comments over growing intolerance in the country.

Following reports of him being removed as the brand ambassador of Incredible India, Khan said it was an honour for him to be the brand ambassador for the Incredible India campaign for the past 10 years and added that he would always be there for the service of the nation.

However, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma had clarified that the government hadn’t removed Khan as the brand ambassador rather his contract with creative agency McCann Worldwide making advertisements for government’s ‘Incredible India’ campaign got expired.

The Congress Party had attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA Government for replacing Khan as the brand ambassador of Incredible India campaign run by the Tourism Ministry, saying it reflects ‘ vendetta politics’ and ‘uncultured behavior’ on part of the ruling dispensation.

Speaking at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Khan had yesterday expressed alarm and despondency over the rise in cases of intolerance in the last six to eight months.

He said that a sense of “insecurity” and “fear” had seeped deep within the society.