Intolerance row: Shah Rukh Khan defends Aamir Khan

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Extending his hand of support for fellow actor Aamir Khan over the intolerance debate, Shah Rukh Khan said that one does not need to prove his patriotism.

“You don’t have to be proving your patriotism in any other way, except for thinking good for the country and doing good. You have to work for the benefit of the country. If I work for the country in the most kindest way in what I am good at, my country is going to benefit from that. But if I am corrupt, and regional about it, I will be harming my country,” Shah Rukh said in his first reaction to the controversy.

In an age of social media outreach, where users attempt to give an easy and quick judgement, Shah Rukh said, “Twitter and social media is about free voice, people do take very radical steps, they get abusive. Even a generic statement can be turned into radical statements by people,” he claimed.

He added that by the recent controversy surrounding Aamir, he will now be addressing only those issues on which he has detailed knowledge.

“I’m relieved now that I should now talk only about what I know. I need not speak on any and every other topic on which someone feels that I should speak on because I have been around for 25 years,” he asserted.

Aamir had recently said at an award function that he was “alarmed” by a number of incidents and his wife Kiran Rao even suggested that they should leave the country considering growing intolerance. Later, clearing the air over his statement on intolerance, Aamir said that he is a proud Indian and has no intentions of leaving the country.

“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,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

However, he asserted that he stands by all what he said in the interview.

“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,” he said.

Aamir also thanked his supporters for standing by his side while he was facing allegations of being an anti-national.

“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, its 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. Jai Hind. Aamir Khan.”

Aamir Khan & intolerance: Full coverage

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Intolerance row: Shah Rukh Khan defends Aamir Khan

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