Film actor Aamir Khan on Monday said his wife Kiran Rao had spoken to him about moving out of India, as she feared for their child due to the security environment prevailing in the country.
“When I chat with Kiran at home, she says ‘Should we move out of India?’ That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is this sense of growing disquiet, there is growing despondency apart from alarm. You feel why this is happening, you feel low. That sense does exist in me,” the 50-year-old actor said.
Aamir Khan, speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Awards function organised by The Indian Express, also defended the ‘award wapsi’ by historians and filmmakers. “Returning awards was one way of getting your point across,” he said, adding how any non-violent form of protest was a legitimate form of protest. “I will endorse any protest that is non-violent.” He also slammed the Censor Board for Film Certification on some of its recent diktats to filmmakers.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was chief guest at the event. Aamir Khan was one of the first ambassadors of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat or Clean India campaign last year.
Khan said he felt there was an increased sense of despondency in India over the last six-eight months, and he considered it important that those in power strongly condemn whatever was wrong. He said India’s social fabric wasn’t at its best right now. “… people who are our elected representatives, people who we select to look after us for five years, state or Centre … when people take law into their hands, we look upon these people to take a strong stance, to make a strong statement, speed up the legal process, when we see that happening there is a sense of security but when we don’t see that happening, there is a sense of insecurity.”
Khan said his birth may have been in a Muslim household but when he speaks he speaks for everyone. He said for him acts of terrorism were not connected to any religion, and the mistake was being made was labelling perpetrators of such violence as Islamic terrorists or Hindu terrorists.
Khan is not the first from the film world to flag the issue of growing insecurity among minorities in recent months in India. Earlier this month, Shah Rukh Khan had also spoken out against growing “intolerance” in the country, and defended returning of government awards by filmmakers and academicians as a valid form of protest.
Over the years, Aamir Khan’s films have been subject to protests by right-wing groups. Bajrang Dal activists had vandalised cinemas exhibiting Khan’s film PK last year as they felt it had mocked the Hindu religion.
In 2006, Fanaa was not shown in Gujarat after the actor had come out in solidarity with Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar.