The Bollywood actor had courted controversy a couple of weeks ago when he had said his wife feared for his and his child’s security, owing to India’s deteriorating situation with regard to minorities. Aamir’s statement was highlighted in the media and the actor was made a target of much vitriol and abuse. Indian rightist organisation Shiv Sena went so far as to announce a reward of INR 100,00 per slap for anyone who dared to slap Aamir Khan.
Aamir spoke on the issue yet again, when it had settled down and said he had never said India was intolerant, to begin with.
“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.”
Aamir also said he appreciated diversity in both religion and culture.
“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.”