No bigger star than Balasaheb Thackeray in Maharashtra: Aamir Khan

Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan on Friday said there is no bigger star than late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray in Maharashtra.

Aamir was interacting with the media here at the launch of Child Obesity Team (COST) website along with Maharashtra’s Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan and Dr. Sanjay Borude, a bariatric (obesity) surgeon.

Release of Emraan Hashmi starrer “Cheat India”, which was to hit the theatres on January 25, has reportedly been preponed by a week after the Shiv Sena requested the makers for a solo release of “Thackeray”. There were also reports that the makers of “Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi” will follow suit.

Reacting to the development, Khan said: “No producer wants his film to clash with other big releases. I don’t think there is any bigger star than Balasaheb (Thackeray) in Maharashtra. So, no one wants to clash their film with his biopic’s release.”

Apart from acting and producing films, Aamir Khan is also known for doing social work through his “Paani Foundation”, which is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation particularly active in the area of drought prevention and watershed management in the state.

Although the foundation has received a lot of praise from the people for its work, some experts feel that the foundation is not doing technically sound execution of their plans and that is why they are not getting the success as per their expectation.

However, Khan disagreed. “They are not correct. I feel we have always done technically sound work. WOTR (Watershed Organisation Trust)’s technical experts are working with us for years and they are working in this field for the last 25-30 years. So, I feel we are not doing scientifically incorrect things. It is also incorrect to say that we haven’t achieved the desired success.”

“We have achieved lot of success. Wherever we have worked, people are getting lots of benefits there. This year, it hasn’t rained as per our expectations… I feel we are becoming a victim of climate change and if we want to bring a change to this scenario, option of watershed management is not enough; we will have to create green cover. When you do forestation to the optimum capacity, there will be increase in rains.”

When asked how he manages doing so many things simultaneously, he said: “I do fewer films. In two or three years, I release only one film. I spend half my time working for Paani Foundation and half my time goes to making films. That is the reason, I release one film in two years, while other actors do two films in one year.”

Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Amrita Rao starrer “Thackeray” will hit cinemas on January 23.