Shahrukh Khan, during a Twitter townhall with a leading media outfit, said that he is open to the idea of giving up his award as a symbolic means of protest against extreme intolerance in India.
“Yes, as a symbolic gesture I would give it up,” the actor said, referring to the spate of other film personalities, artists, writers, scientists and others who have returned awards as a measure of protest in recent months. “I do think there is intolerance. There is extreme intolerance,” the actor added in a hard hitting statement.
Shahrukh Khan, when asked about communalism in the country, reiterated the importance of India’s secular fabric. When asked about his identity as a Muslim in India, the actor said: “No one can question my patriotism. How dare anyone?” adding that the biggest mistake a patriot could make was to go against secularism.
Actor Shah Rukh Khan, celebrating his 50th birthday, spoke to some of the leading journalists of the country about his big day, religion and, of course, romance.
Here are the highlights of what SRK said in some of his interviews:
1. In the West, opinions are respected. In our country, I think opinion is taken with a little more aggression if it doesn’t agree with yours
2. I don’t speak my mind often enough because I worry my film get into trouble
3. Whoever takes a stand against creative people will face a huge backlash
4. Religion cannot be defined by our meat-eating habits
5. In my house, everyone is free to follow their religion. My kids were confused about whether they were Muslim or Hindu, I said ‘why not Christian?’
6. Religious intolerance, or intolerance of any kind, is the worst thing and will take us to the dark ages. Indians lose face over the questions that are asked
7. If you are a patriot, you must love your country as a whole, not parts of it as religions and regions
8. Anupam Kher should be able to give his opinion about another director and be able to have a discussion about it. That’s tolerance
9. I think it’s very brave of those returning their awards. I am on their side. If they tell me to join them on a march or a press conference, I would
10. Personally, it’s too much of symbolism to return my awards. Just returning something, I am not a believer in that
11. I think the FTII students are completely on the right side. Some words or actions may sound wrong, that’s natural when you are on a strike or a fast and passions run high. But I think the students are right
12. I have a weapon on my side. I think I am extremely lived by people. If someone takes a stand against me, I have enough people to love me back
13. I am not scared, just selfish sometimes. I don’t want a nuisance, I am scared of a nuisance. I work 18 hours a day and I need to be left alone to do my job
14. It is very degrading and humiliating to have to prove my patriotism
15. I am an Indian-born movie star. I am an Indian-born Indian. I am Indian – how does that get questioned?
16. Nobody has more right to live in this country than me, and I am not going to leave. So shut up
17. Somewhere the decision to send the children abroad to study is so they wouldn’t have to deal with the security and my stardom
18. The fact that we need to keep on talking about the three Khans to prove how secular India is means that India is not. We don’t need ‘Khans shining’ to prove that India is shining 24. If we start curbing creativity, we will be making more unsecular people
19. At 50, I can still do the dance and the hands and the cartwheel and I can still dignify a lady so much that she will fall in love with me. I think that is what romance is
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