After a storm over his comments on intolerance in the country, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan has said that neither he nor his wife have any intention of leaving India.
From BJP leaders to fellow film stars, many went after Aamir. Some BJP supporters even felt that he should leave the country if he felt so threatened. However, given the brouhaha, Aamir felt it was only right to state his stand again.
"I stand by my every word in interview, my statements were distorted," said Aamir in a statement.
"India is my country, feel fortunate for being born here. Proud of being Indian, don't need anyone's permission for it," he further added.
And before signing off, he had a word for his detractors.
"To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point."
Here is Aamir Khan's full statement:
First let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying.
Secondly, I stand by everything that I have said in my interview. To all those people who are calling me anti-national, I would like to say that I am proud to be Indian, and I do not need anyone's permission nor endorsement for that.
To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point.
Aamir Khan in a screengrab from Satyamev Jayate.
To all the people who have stood by me, thank you. We have to protect what this beautiful and unique country of ours really stands for. We have to protect its integrity, diversity, inclusiveness, its many languages, its culture, its history, its tolerance, it's concept of ekantavada, it's love, sensitivity and its emotional strength.
I would like to end my statement with a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, it's a prayer really :
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, Where knowledge is free, Where the world has not been broken up into fragments, by narrow domestic walls, Where words come out from the depth of truth, Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection, Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way, Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit, Where the mind is led forward by thee, Into ever-widening thought and action, Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.
Jai Hind. Aamir Khan .