At the Ram Nath Goenka Awards for excellence in Journalism in India, organized by the Indian Express Group today evening, Aamir Khan broke his silence on the intolerance debate in India by making a startling disclosure that his wife Kiran Rao had asked him recently that the family should move out of India because of the “insecure environment” in the country. “For the first time Kiran has spoken about moving out of the country. She fears for her child. That is a disastrous and a big statement for Kiran to make to me. She feels scared to open the newspapers everyday. That does indicate there’s a growing despondency apart from alarm. You feel depressed, low, why is this happening. That does exist in me,” Aamir stated. “India’s social fabric is not at its best right now. I am certainly alarmed. I feel there is a sense of insecurity, fear. It has been growing over the last six months. For any society a sense of security is a must,” Aamir said.
Aamir Khan has made huge inroads into the social fabric of India with his landmark television show Satyamev Jayate. The amount of research that he has done about varied social issues afflicting the country is phenomenal and has been lauded in India as well as across the world. The statement made by him in front of political leaders from the ruling party today is a significant one. “Historians, scientists have had a view to express. Returning awards is one way of getting your point across. I will endorse any protest that is non-violent,” Aamir said.
Recently Shah Rukh Khan had stood up for secularism in India and he was viciously attacked by saffron forces (several of them are actually part of the government and there was no rap on the knuckles of uncouth voices). Aamir Khan should brace himself for a severe attack as well especially because the rogue voices have been willingly let lose. His words will be deliberately misconstrued even after the following statement made by Khan at RNG awards today, “Why should I represent anyone? If I have to represent someone why only Muslims, why not everyone? My birth may be in a Muslim household, but when I speak, I speak for everyone.”
Speaking about the raging Censor issues faced by the film industry, Aamir said, “The Censor Board has been too aggressive in its approach in the last six to eight months. Censor Board is actually a certification board which decides the age of those who can watch a movie. Censor Board is behaving in an alarming way. I hope that changes,” Aamir echoed the sentiments of many within the industry, who have been shushed in silence by the terror of the Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani.
Aamir also said that these are “challenging times for Journalism in India.” Indeed they are.