Actor Irrfan Khan feels celebrities are also part of this country and they have every right to express their opinion on national issues.
Irrfan, the latest star to join the ongoing intolerance debate, said shutting up one's mouth is not a healthy sign for a growing society.
"I find it very strange when few people say that actorsshould act and they should not express their opinions on issues. Everybody has the right to speak their mind and concerns. If you are told to shut up then this is not a sign of a growing and healthy society," he said during the NDTV Indian of the Year Award here last night.
The 49-year-old "Life of Pi" star feels expressing opinion is an individual approach and it is fine if someone does not express his/her opinion.
"That's an individual thing. Some people have an instinct of reacting on things while some people don't. "When Ang Lee came here, he was asked about his country's politics. And he said we don't speak about politics. This issue (intolerance) has been in news. We should feel safe to say whatever we want to say. We should be free to express ourselves."
Irrfan, who has been a popular face outside Bolllywood thanks to his successful Hollywood outings including "Jurassic World", said Indian cinema should speak the language of global audience to reach the outer world.
"Indian films need to reach world audience. For that it needs to find a new language. It needs to find a new way of story telling. It is necessary to find the bigger audience. We cannot keep on making the similar kind of films every time. Audience's change in taste of cinema is bringing new actors at the forefront. And that's why we are here," he said.
The "Piku" star made a mark in the film industry with his unique roles - be it the rebel in "Paan Singh Tomar" or a middle class government employee in "The Lunchbox". Irrfan said he always opts for different role than his previous outing because he gets bored very quickly.
"Actually I get bored of things very easily. So, I can't repeat things. For me acting is a way of exploring things."
Irrfan will be next seen in Hollywood film "Inferno" opposite Tom Hanks and Tigmanshu Dhuli's gangster drama "Yaara".