What reason has India given you or your wife to feel insecure? This is the question that has been bothering me ever since I heard your pompous declaration on behalf of your beautiful little family.
It has also become a talk point across the nation. This was perhaps the motive for your irrational outburst. To grab attention. What I am sure you hadn't bargained for was the volume of undisguised contempt for your statement saying your wife and you have spoken about leaving the country-YOUR country, OUR COUNTRY-for your little son's sake.
Coming from an iconic figure like you, this is one of the most awkward statements to explain to the outside world. It's ok when rabid radical elements make outrageous statements. But you???!!! My brother, who lives in the US, called up to say the Indian community is shamed by your statement.
Says my anguished brother, "We all feel compromised by Aamir Khan's statement. We keep talking about the image of India being so wrongly portrayed in the West, that we are in fact a truly democratic nation. And then one of the well-known stars from India says, in not so many words, that India is uninhabitable. Humlog yahan mooh dikhane laayak nahin (we've lost face out here in the US). The Americans are saying, 'We were right about in India. Even privileged Indian feels threatened in India. Please tell Mr Khan it'd be long time before we can mend the wrong that he has done to our image abroad."
Aamir, what do I tell my brother? What do I tell myself? All these years I thought of you as a rational clear-headed secular man. Years ago we used to have long discussions on how private religion faith belief and dogma are to you. You came across as so gentle calm and sorted. What made you express your misgivings about our unbreakable faith in survival and equality, except perhaps one moment of unguarded glory-seeking which has alienated you from your roots for all times to come.
Decades ago writer Sadat Hassan Manto said what you've just said. He felt insecure in India. Indians did everything that they could to make Manto feel as special as he was. He still chose to leave the country.
We don't want you to go the Manto way. But will never stop wondering what brought your dormant insecurities to the fore. Your child? We too have children for whose future we fear. But we don't plan to run away. We love our country. And we hope you do too. And we hope your children would be safe.
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