Aamir Khan breaks his silence, says he won't leave India
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan on Wednesday broke his silence and clarified his stance on "intolerance", saying neither he nor his wife Kiran intend to leave India. Read his full statement here.
"First let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying.
Secondly, I stand by everything that I have said in my interview.
To all those people who are calling me anti-national, I would like to say that I am proud to be Indian, and I do not need anyone's permission nor endorsement for that.
To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point.
To all the people who have stood by me, thank you. We have to protect what this beautiful and unique country of ours really stands for. We have to protect its integrity, diversity, inclusiveness, its many languages, its culture, its history, its tolerance, it's concept of ekantavada, it's love, sensitivity and its emotional strength.
I would like to end my statement with a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, it's a prayer really:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments,
by narrow domestic walls,
Where words come out from the depth of truth,
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection,
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way,
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit,
Where the mind is led forward by thee,
Into ever-widening thought and action,
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.
At an awards event in New Delhi on Sunday, Aamir had spoken of "growing despondency" in India for the last six to eight months.
He had said: "When I sit at home and talk to Kiran, for the first time she said, 'Should we move out of India?' Now that's a very disastrous and a big comment to make to me."
His statement attracted widespread criticism even as many defended him.
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