A controversy surrounding actor Aamir Khan erupted on Wednesday after a section of media reported that the Centre had removed him as the brand ambassador of the Incredible India campaign under Tourism Ministry.
Comments on Twitter were fueled by speculation that the move was in response to the actor’s remarks on “growing intolerance” during the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award function last November.
However, clarifying his ministry’s stand, MoS, Tourism, Mahesh Sharma told The Indian Express that it was purely a contractual matter with advertising agency McCann Worldgroup. The Rs 2.96-crore contract with the agency, which featured Khan in a film for the ministry, recently ended.
“Our agreement was with a media agency namely McCann. That was for a particular work. That work they have delivered to us. They have completed that project. Hence, that contract is now over,” Sharma said.
About the controversy over Khan’s remark, he said: “We have nothing do with it. That (Aamir’s remark) was a non-issue for us. The Ministry of Tourism has nothing to do with that.”
About the possibility of Khan featuring in any other film by the ministry, Sharma said: “Future is future.”
Chairman & CEO McCann Worldgroup India, Prasoon Joshi, too said that their contract with the ministry is over.
Joshi told The Indian Express: “We at McCann had a contractual agreement with the Ministry of Tourism for a social awareness campaign Atithi devo bhava. Mr Aamir khan had graciously lent his support for the same.We have delivered the campaign to the Ministry.” (Read: Aamir Khan meets fan with progeria, leaves him ‘optimistic’)