Actor Aamir Khan on Monday said that he “never thought about leaving the country” and that he was “born in India and will die in India”.
At an event to mark the 10th anniversary of Rang De Basanti, he said, “Some people could understand me and some couldn’t. Those who are hurt, I can understand their feelings. I would have been hurt had I been in their place because they were told something that was not true. They were told Aamir wants to leave the country. Let me tell you that I never said this. I was born in India and I will die in India. I never thought about leaving the country. Neither Kiran (Rao, his wife) nor will I think about it. In fact, when I stay away from the country for two weeks, I get homesick.”
Speaking at the Ramnath Goenka awards last November, Khan had said, “There is a sense of fear more than there was earlier. I do feel there is a sense of insecurity. When I sit at home and talk to Kiran. Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open newspapers everyday. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet… growing sense of despondency. You feel depressed, you feel low… why is it happening? This feeling exists in me too.”
Speaking on Monday, he said, “I never said Bharat desh is intolerant. Now, there are people who have negativity and positivity. Negative people spread negativity and decide to separate us. But India is a vast country. Every state has its own culture and diversity. I think ours is the only nation which is so diverse and yet so beautiful. Unity in diversity is our strength. And when someone tries to divide us, I get hurt.”
Stating that he would raise his voice against anything that threatens to make the country weak, Khan said, “Our PM has said unity is our strength and that one shouldn’t spread poison. I love my country. To people who are spreading negativity, I, with folded hands, ask them not to do so.”
He also asked those who question his patriotism to look at his work. “Why should I do Satyamev Jayate? It’s because I love my country. I feel happy that I am lending a hand in nation building. I belong to a freedom fighter’s family. My great-grand uncle was Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,” he said. Khan also said his wife had made him realise that he shouldn’t have shared their private conversation at a public platform.
“Our country is a beautiful example of unity in diversity. Take my family for instance. My wife is Hindu. My two sisters are married to Hindus — Farhat is married to Rajeev while Nikhat to Santosh. My cousin Mansoor Khan has married a Catholic. I have three kids and they are half-Hindu and half-Muslim,” he said. “Both Kiran and I never bring our religions into the picture. I am an Indian first and always will be an Indian.”