After two days of social media chaos over Aamir Khan's comments at the recently-held Ramnath Goenka Awards, wherein the actor said that he and his wife have spoken about leaving the country, the 50-year-old actor has released a statement clarifying his stance on the matter.
In the press statement, reprinted verbatim by several publications, Khan has firmly stated that neither he nor his wife, filmmaker Kiran Rao, "have any intention of leaving the country". He has also spoken out against people who have criticised him by calling him anti-national or sending abuse his way.
Read the full statement below:
"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.
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, its concept of ekantavada, its 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.
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