Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan on Monday joined the chorus of intelligentsia against growing intolerance, saying he has been “alarmed” by a number of incidences and his wife Kiran Rao even suggested that they should probably leave the country.
He also virtually supported those returning their awards, saying one of the ways for creative people to express their dissatisfaction or disappointment is to return their awards.
“As an individual, as part of this country as a citizen, we read in the papers what is happening, we see it on the news and certainly, I have been alarmed. I can’t deny. I
have been alarmed by a number of incidents,” he said while speaking here at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards.
The actor said he also feels that the sense of insecurity and fear has been growing in the past six or eight months.
“When I chat with Kiran at home, she says ‘Should we move out of India?’ That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day.
“That does indicate that there is this sense of growing disquiet, there is growing despondency apart from alarm. You feel why this is happening, you feel low. That sense does exist in me,” 50-year-old Aamir said.
The actor said for any society, it is important to have a sense of security and sense of justice.
Taking potshots at politicians, he said “… People who are our elected representatives, people who we select to look after us for five years, state or centre… When people take law into their hands, we look upon these people to take a strong stance, to make a strong statement, speed up the legal process, when we see that happening there is a sense of security but when we don’t see that happening there is a sense of insecurity.”
Endorsing the move by scientists, writers and filmmakers to return their awards to register their protest against the atmosphere of growing intolerance, he said for creative people it is important to voice what they feel.
“A number of creative people — historians, scientists — increasingly had a certain feeling in them, which they felt they need to express. For creative people, one of the ways of expressing their dissatisfaction or their disappointment is to return their awards. I think that’s one way of getting your point across,” he said.
When asked whether he endorsed the protests by the people, Aamir said he would as long as it is non-violent as “all individuals have a right to protest and they can protest in any manner that they feel is right as long as they are not taking the law into their hands.”
Aamir said the creative fraternity is protesting because of the growing discomfort that they felt.
“… The growing atmosphere of intolerance that they felt around them, a growing sense of insecurity and disappointment with that and as a result that was their way of showing that they are not happy with the situation.”
The actor criticised the political statements made after the Dadri incident, saying act of violence – be it against individuals or a collection of people – is condemnable.
“It does not matter who the ruling party is… It does not matter who is in power… In TV debates we see, BJP is currently ruling and they are accused of various things but they say what about 1984. That does not make it right. 1984 was disastrous. It was horrendous,” Aamir said, adding that people look up to leaders to make reassuring statements.
To a question why is it so that many politicians visited Dadri after the lynching incident whereas only the defence minister was there at the home of Col Santosh Mahadik, who lost his life in a terrorist attack last week, he said, “every act of terror and violence should be condemned with same ferocity”.