NEW DELHI -- Appearing on Aap Ki Adalat , Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan said that his remarks about intolerance were misinterpreted, last year, and he is deeply troubled when his loyalties to the country are questioned over and over again.
Having to constantly reaffirm his patriotism has made him "very sad," Khan said on the television show which was aired by India TV on Saturday.
"I feel very sad. I want to cry that I have to say again and again that I am a citizen and a patriot. Because I am," he told Rajat Sharma, who hosts the popular show. "I get very sad that I have to explain again and again that I'm a patriot."
Khan acknowledged that people would point out that all this talk about patriotism coincided with the release of his latest film, but the actor insisted that the two were not connected. "I am the most proud Indian in the world," he said.
In November, Khan came under fire from leaders of the Bharatiya Janta Party as well as other nationalist groups after he described India as intolerant. There was also a huge backlash from the public.
While some called the actor a "traitor," others told him to go live in Pakistan, a jibe which is often thrown at Muslim actors by right-wing leaders when they step into a political controversy.
The intolerance debate, sparked by the killing of a Muslim man over beef rumours in Uttar Pradesh, polarised the country for months, last year. "Yes there is intolerance, there is growing intolerance," Khan said at the height of the turmoil.
A few weeks after Khan spoke, his colleague Aamir Khan sparked a row when he talked about his wife wanting to leave the country due to growing intolerance
While some people supported their right to speak freely, others were hurt that the two actors, who are adored by millions, were so critical of the country.
Speaking on Aap Ki Adalat, Khan said that his "advice to young people" in November was misinterpreted. "How can I think that this country has not been fair on any of us. And for a person like me, who has got everything from this country, I would be the last person to complain," he said.
"My wife is a Hindu. I'm a Muslim by birth. My children know three religions. We celebrate Diwali and Eid. I'm like a mini-country in my own house so how can I think of my country like this," he said.
Khan categorically denied rumours that his remarks on intolerance were made at the behest of his friends in the Congress Party who wanted to "fix" Modi.
"How would I dare to 'fix' anyone. Is this a joke. I didn't even think like that. You know me for years. I'm apolitical. My friends are everywhere. I meet everyone," Khan told Sharma.
"I would like to state very clearly that when we chose a leader of a country whoever it may be, and as great Mr. Modi, we all have to support him. We have chosen him. Our country has chose him with a majority. We have to support our leaders and take the country forward. Not be negative," he said.
Encouraging young people to move forward with positivity, Khan said, "We live in the great country in the world."
Also on HuffPost India:
Suggest a correction