Director Rajkumar Hirani says that actor Aamir Khan's controversial statements were "innocent" and that the hype created because of it should've been ignored.
Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani
"If you take the answer what he said, he's clearly said, 'I feel distressed, I feel sad that my wife once said this to me.' To me, it was a very innocent answer," said Hirani at a sports event along with veteran writer Javed Akhtar.
"Perhaps he shared something from his family conversations with the public. And according to me, that (hype) should've been ignored. But the manner in which people have attacked him, I see a bit of intolerance in that, in certain sections," he added.
Hirani also said that people need to become "a bit more tolerant".
"I feel we need to pick up on positive things and talk about those things, we all need to be careful," he added.
The row began at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards where numerous other issues were discussed but Aamir's statement that his wife suggested they leave the country was picked up everywhere, and was slammed and mocked at.
"If you analyse that interview, it's not that Aamir Khan called for a press conference and said, 'this is what I feel'. He was called for an award function. He was asked on various topics and one of the questions happened to be this (on intolerance)," Hirani said.
The Punjab unit of the Shiv Sena had offered Rs. 1 lakh to anyone who slapped Aamir, while another of its leaders said that the 'pk' actor should go to Pakistan, while members of the Hindu Sena even booked tickets for Aamir and his family for Pakistan.
Aamir's religion also came into the picture among numerous negative remarks on the issue.
"And this fact was connected to the incident that he is a Muslim. This thought had never even come in our minds. I've celebrated every Diwali at Aamir's house. Today, I'm sitting with Javed sahab, but this thought that a Hindu and Muslim are sitting together didn't come to our minds," Hirani said.
"This thought should be the last thought. The manner in which this is spreading, I feel there is a certain divide that's been created," he added.
Hirani has delivered two blockbusters, '3 Idiots' and 'pk' with Aamir.