Joined: 03 December 2005
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Shah Rukh Khan on Tuesday sought to clear the air over his article in an Indian magazine, saying he had written nothing to indicate he felt unsafe in India. "Being an Indian and my parents' child is an unconditional accepted truth of my life and I am very proud of both... Nowhere does the article state or imply directly or indirectly that I feel unsafe... troubled or disturbed in India," Khan said, even as Indian ministers hit back at Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik for suggesting that India provide security to the actor.
Information & broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said all citizens of India were treated equally and asked Malik to redirect his worries to the condition of minorities in Pakistan. The political class in India, cutting across party lines, reacted sharply to Malik's "meddling in India's internal affairs".
In the first-person account, Khan, while recalling his experiences as a Muslim in a post-9/11 world, spoke of how he had become an inadvertent object of political leaders who "choose to make him a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India".
"Whenever there is an act of violence in the name of Islam, I am called upon to air my views and dispel the notion that, by virtue of being a Muslim, I condone such senseless brutality," he wrote. "There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country ' this even though I am an Indian whose father fought for the freedom of India." Following the article, Jamat-ud-Dawa chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Sayeed had offered Khan a chance to move to Pakistan if he did not feel safe in India.
Criticizing such reactions to his article from Pakistan, Shah Rukh issued a statement saying, "Ironically, the article I wrote was actually meant to reiterate that on some occasions my being an Indian Muslim film star is misused by bigots and narrow-minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for small gains... And, ironically, the same has happened through this article... once again."
"We have an amazing, democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environs that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life or material. As a matter of fact, it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue... My own family and friends are like a mini-India," he wrote.
Khan implored people to actually read his article before reacting to it, adding that people shouldn't be misled by those who "use religion as an anchor for unrest and a policy of divide and rule". The BJP said Pakistan should not meddle in India's internal affairs...
times of india.com
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