Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, who brought the life of Milkha Singh to the silver screen with “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, on Thursday extended his support to the legendary Indian athlete, saying he is “completely entitled” to have his opinion.
Farhan also condemned the media for taking Milkha’s views on superstar Salman Khan’s appointment as India’s goodwill ambassador at the Rio Olympics out of context. He said Milkha didn’t “say anything against the actor”.
When asked about the controversy, Farhan said: “It is genuinely not for me to decide. It is for the Indian member committee to decide who they want to sign as an ambassador. If they feel it’s the best decision then I am no one to say anything. But I must say one thing which is I feel that how it (comment) transpired. I feel what Milkha Singh ji said and how it was put out, I think it was very unfortunate”.
The “Dil Dhadakne Do” star added: “He didn’t say anything against the actor but said that if he had been asked to finalise, he would have opted for a sportsman in that personal space. And I think he was completely entitled to his opinion. He never said what came (out) in press. I think there is certain introspection that media needs to do because it creates unnecessary controversy. Because nobody said anything that mala fides other person”.
Salman’s appointment has sparked off a debate on whether he should be the goodwill ambassador for India at the Rio Olympics or not. Many sportspersons including Milkha have come forward to criticise the decision, while Bollywood stars Kirron Kher and filmmaker Sooraj Barjatya have backed Salman.
Salman’s father Salim Khan has also tried to defend his son’s appointment.
Farhan added: “I think he was out on a public forum and he was asked his opinion on how he felt on an actor being ambassador of Olympic contingent and he, as honestly as he has always been, shared his views. He said it was unfortunate and also said that he doesn’t have anything against any actor and I cant say whether its a right choice or wrong choice”.
The actor was in the national capital with star Anil Kapoor for the announcement of the 17the edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards. The four-day cinematic celebration will be held in Spain from June 23.