Minutes after Aamir Khan joined the intolerance debate and said that his filmmaker-wife Kiran Rao suggested leaving the country, Anupam Kher took a swipe at the star in a series of tweets. However, it hardly came as a surprise. The veteran actor has always responded sharply to ‘intolerance in India’ remarks. Earlier this month, he led a march from India Gate to Rashtrapati Bhavan to restore India’s image as a “tolerant” nation — a counter-protest against writers and film personalities returning their awards.
When Dibakar Banjerjee returned his National Award to support Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) students’ protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chief, the actor said the move reeked of political agenda. Not many would endorse his opinion that all’s well in India, but he seems to have turned it into his pet cause — utter the word ‘intolerance’ and there’s no escaping Kher’s ire. In a way, he seems to be a self-appointed poster boy of tolerant India. hitlist points out a few other celebs who hardly, if ever, let go of an opportunity to take forward certain causes close to their heart.
Shah Rukh Khan
The king of romance has always pushed the ‘respect for women’ cause. During a brand campaign in 2013, SRK had questioned why names of male actors appear before that of the actresses when the credits roll. At that time, he had promised that his Chennai Express co-star Deepika Padukone’s name will appear before his in the film’s credit list. And he kept his word. In May this year, the star urged his fans to respect women and not abuse them. And then earlier this month, at a press conference for his upcoming film Dilwale, he reportedly said, “If you respect women, be it as a girlfriend, wife or sister, they will love you. Respect is love for them. So, I respect them a lot.”
This star is an ardent advocate of secularism and has often mentioned how his family is made up of people belonging to diverse backgrounds and yet celebrate all festivals with equal enthusiasm. In fact, Salman hosts Ganesh Utsav at his Bandra residence.
The filmmaker goes out on a limb to support Pakistani artistes working in India and has launched many faces from the neighbouring country in his production ventures. At the National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi earlier in April, Bhatt was quoted saying that he aims to foster cultural activity between the two countries since artistes from across the border have been disallowed from taking part in Indian films and events due to the tense bilateral relations.
He has taken on the responsibility of providing financial and moral support to drought-hit farmers in the state. Nana personally visits the families of farmers, who ended their lives due to poverty and mounting debts, and extends monetary help to them. He had met 112 farmer widows in Marathwada Beed and plans to meet around 700 more in Nagpur, Latur, Hingoli and other parts of the state. Earlier, in an interview with hitlist, the actor had said, “All of us want to help, but most of us are not sure if the money we want to give will reach the right people. So, I decided to visit these people myself and help them.”
He espouses a variety of causes, be it helping cancer patients or providing shelter and education to less fortunate girls. But what caught everyone’s attention is how the actor gets actively involved in relief and rescue activities during natural calamities. In 2004, he reached out to the tsunami-affected families in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu in. He also adopted the village, Devanampattinam with the aim of rehabilitating the victims. In November last year, Vivek had gone to Uttarakhand to help the flood-hit populace.
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