Actor Shah Rukh Khan has said “sometimes I feel very sad… feel like crying” when he is “made to say I belong to this country, I am a patriot”.
“I am a patriot, rather we all are. We do not have to compete with others to say we are patriots… I will tell all young people to be tolerant, be happy, work hard and take this nation forward. Small, petty matters should not harm our nation’s interest,” Khan told Rajat Sharma on the India TV show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’.
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“We are one of the safest and most beautiful nations in the world. We should not tie ourselves in petty obscurantist
issues… Whether my film (Fan) is a hit or not, I want to say for the last time, I will not repeat it, that there is no patriot greater than me in this country,” he said.
“Our country, our motherland, Bharat Mata, we all love it, why should we have a talk like this… I am the most proud Indian in the world because nobody has got more from this country than me.”
Asked about a perception that he had friends in the Congress who wanted to “fix” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khan said: “Meri kya majaal, kisi ko fix karoon (how can I dare to think I can fix anyone). You know me over the years, I am apolitical, though I have friends everywhere.”
“I would like to state here very clearly, when we choose a leader of our country, whoever it may be, as great as Mr Modi, all we have to do is to support him. Our nation has chosen him with a majority, so we have to support our leader and take the country forward and not be negative,” he said.
He was at the centre of a row last year over his remarks in the wake of a raging debate on intolerance. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who had slammed Khan for his remarks, later retracted his statement. Speaking at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express last month, Vijayvargiya said: “I never called Shah Rukh Khan an anti-national. What I had said was, ‘Shah Rukh Khan may live here, but his heart lives in Pakistan’. I even tweeted a few times about this… As far as taking back my statement is concerned, I never said I was wrong. I merely stated that my party wants me to retract my statement.”
Khan said his comments had been torn out of context. “I was asked if I had any advice for the young and I said they should not to do anything that can only hurt the country such as regionalism, religion, caste, colour and creed… My father was one of the youngest freedom fighters. How can I think this country has not been fair to any of us? A man like me, who has got everything from this great country, I’ll be last one to complain.”
“My family itself is a mini-India. My wife is Hindu, I am a Muslim by birth, and my three children follow three religions,” he said.