Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s comments on religion and religious harmony on the sets of reality show Dance Plus 5 have gone viral.
The clip showing a part of his comments on the show has been shared widely on social media.
Khan talked about being in an inter-faith marriage and talking to his children about religion on the Republic Day episode of the show.
According to Indian Express, the actor’s comments came after contestant Bhim Bahadur’s performance on religious unity.
Khan said, “Hum mein koi Hindu-Musalman ki baat hi nahi ki. Meri biwi jo hai Hindu hai, main Musalman hoon. Aur mere jo bacche hain, woh Hindustan hain. (There is no talk of Hindu-Muslim between us. My wife is Hindu and I am Muslim, my kids are Hindustan).”
Khan talked about how his daughter Suhana has asked about their religion when she was a child. “Kai baar jab woh school gaye toh school mein wo bharna padhta hai ki religion kya hai. To jab meri beti chhoti thi, usne aa ke puchha bhi mujhse ek baar ki, ‘Papa, hum kaun se religion ke hain?’ Toh maine usme ye likha ki hum Indian hi hain yaar, aur koi religion nahi hai. Aur hona bhi nahi chahiye (When they went to school, we had to fill in the religion section in some form. My daughter was very young and she asked me once, ‘Papa, what is our religion?’. So I wrote saying we are Indian only, there is no religion and there shouldn’t be one either),” he said.
He also said, “Now that Punit (Pathak) and Bhim have brought this up through the dance, I would like to share another personal thing. We see in our newspapers that India’s three biggest superstars are ‘Khans’. I believe even that difference shouldn’t be there. We are all Indians, be it Khans or Kumars or Kapoors. We shouldn’t feel even that.”
On Republic Day, Khan posted on Instagram: “Nothing beautiful happens without struggle. Let’s remember the struggle that gave us this beautiful day and celebrate both.”
Since the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act gathered steam in December 2019, the protestors have questioned Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir Khan’s silence on the issue.
In November 2015, Shar Rukh Khan had spoken to NDTV about rising religious intolerance in the country, saying it “doesn’t augur well for India”.
Khan had called it shocking and said, “If we keep on talking about religion, we’re going to go back to the dark ages. There is nothing less important than religious intolerance.”
He received severe backlash from BJP ministers and members for his comments on what was dubbed the “intolerance debate”.
Khan later walked back on his comment, saying he was sorry and that he was nationalist and patriotic. Khan also, then, said in jest: “To tell you the truth, I’ve become scared. Everything is great in our country. God bless India... There is no problem.”
Months later, his car was attacked by people chanting slogans like Jai Sri Ram and Shah Rukh Khan Hai Hai when he was in Ahmedabad to shoot a film.