Pro-Tamil activists protest outside Salman Khan's house over Rajapaksa support
Salman Khan's recent visit to Sri Lanka to participate in an electoral campaign has enraged pro-Tamil activists, who staged a protest outside his Bandra home on Sunday morning. Sources close to the actor say he had gone there for a social cause while the demonstrators said they were hurt by Salman's decision to canvass for Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Around 10 protestors were taken into police custody.
Salman Khan. Pic/Satyajit Desai
K Ayyanathan, international committee member, Naam Tamilar Party, says, "We are requesting Salman Khan to respect the sentiments of Tamil people and not go to Lanka again. He is a citizen of India and cannot participate in the election process of another country."
Salman Khan shaking hands with Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Pic/AFP
The actor after his return from Lanka, where he had gone with his 'Kick' co-star Jacqueline Fernandez, had tweeted that he had organised health camps during the shoot of 'Ready' (2011) there and it was on Jacky's request that he did so again. "…v did a camp this week and i kept my promise and went to jacqueline's restaurant (sic)," his post read.
Protestors outside Salman's house on Sunday. Pic/PTI
The protestors do not, however, intend to call for a ban on his upcoming films. "We are not planning any ban and just wanted to urge him not to go to Lanka again," says Ayyanathan. An industy insider comments, "Even if there is a boycott, the (Tamilian) market is not even worth Re 1 crore for the actor to worry."
In 2010, a Tamil group had objected to Bollywood organisng an award function in Lanka. While South filmmakers stayed away from the event, the Hindi film industry defended its decision saying it did not wish to be dragged into politics.
The actor was not available for comment.