I am a Muslim and I don’t agree with what Aamir Khan said
By Syed Ubaidur Rahman
Aamir Khan, while speaking at a media function reportedly got carried away and said the country was becoming very intolerant and unlivable. While there are many people who will agree with him and go to any extent to justify their stand in this regard â€“I have my own reasons and very solid ones â€“I believe the nation I live in is very tolerant and peace loving.
Aamir Khan is one of the best film actors in the country and has been very successful. All his films regularly break any other records that other starsâ€™ films manage to make. This has been happening for the last more than a decade. Khan is not very active in politics and has rarely spoken on social issues from public platform, though he has been part of many social campaigns.
He has a very good understanding of the national landscape and knows the ins and outs of politics. He is among the handful of actors who can be said to be well-read and thinking people. Nonetheless what he said at the Express Award function is not hundred percent true.
While speaking on the occasion he said, â€œmy understanding is that a lot of people from the creative fraternity are protesting because of the growing discomfort they felt or the growing atmosphere of intolerance that they felt around themâ€¦ growing sense of insecurity and disappointment with that, and as a result that was their way of showing that they are not happy with the situationâ€.
The Bollywood superstar who has done some of the most memorable films of the Indian cinema went on to add, â€œAs an individual myself, as a part of the country, as a citizen, we read in newspapers whatâ€™s happening and certainly I have also been alarmed. I canâ€™t deny that I am alarmed.. by a number of incidences. For any society it is very important to have a sense of security. I mean there will be acts of violence in world for different reasons. But for us as Indians, as a part of society to have a sense of securityâ€¦ two-three things are very important, I feel. One is sense of justice. If there is a wrong step that anyone takes, then a correct justice is what is requiredâ€.
Aami Khan further said, â€œCommon man should feel that justice will be done. Thatâ€™s what gives a sense of security. The second and very important sense of security is the people who are our elected representatives â€“ people who we select to look after us for five years if at state level or Centre. When people take law in to their hands and when there is a sense of insecurity, we look upon these people to take a strong stance, make strong statements and speed up the legal process to prosecute cases. When we see it happening there is a sense of security but when we donâ€™t see that happening there is a sense of insecurityâ€.
Despite agreeing to many things that the actor said, I differ him on many other aspects. The first is that though there is a section of people that is intolerant, but such people were present in the Indian society for a very long time. It is not a sudden phenomenon. Though they have become all the more vocal in the last few years, but they were always there.
Indian people, by and large, are peace loving people who donâ€™t want the religious differences to come in the way of mutual respect and cohabitation as one in the society. Bihar election results give enough indication in this regard.
Another fact that we should keep in our minds is the fact that people are more concerned about their daily bread and butter and thus religious and communal differences donâ€™t have important place in their lives.
Aamir Khan is certainly not a common Joe like us and he enjoys the best that the life can offer. He should have avoided speaking what he said in filmi style by sensationalizing the whole debate that is going on for months. He could have put it more succinctly without being sensational.
Another aspect that hit me hard is the fact that he spoke when the issue was past its sell-by date. It had been debated enough and when the whole nation had realized that communal harmony was need of the hour, he forced open the debate afresh.
And lastly, when he talked of being intolerant, he should have also taken into account the intolerance creeping within the Muslim community as well. AR Rahman had to cancel many of his concerts in Delhi and Mumbai due to the fact that some mullas were opposed to it. You need to talk about intolerance in the society as a whole.