Mumbai : Detractors would say that actor Shah Rukh Khan has a penchant for controversy, but his diehard fans would beg to differ and assert that he is growing wiser by the day. As he turned 50, SRK dropped one such nugget of wisdom: Adding his voice to the chorus of dissent that has enveloped the intelligentsia, the actor said that there was not just a ‘climate of intolerance’ but one of ‘extreme intolerance’ in the country.
Joining the bandwagon of filmmakers, scientists and writers, Shah Rukh said he would not hesitate to give up his awards as a “symbolic gesture,” if he has to but feels he does not have to do so. Padma Shri is among the awards in Shah Rukh’s kitty. Warming up to his theme, SRK said, “It is stupid… It is stupid to be intolerant and this is our biggest issue…Religious intolerance and not being secular is the worst kind of crime that you can commit as a patriot,” he said. “People say things without thinking and ours is a secular country. Here is a country which perhaps for the last 10 years is on the cusp of going beyond what we think,” the actor said.
He also responded to criticism that actors get for not participating in protests and raising their voices. He stressed that being a star it was tough for him to take a stand on every moral issue. “We may talk about freedom of speech, but people come and throw stones at my house…” “If I do take a stand, I’ll stand by it,” he stressed. The star also said that no one can and should never question his patriotism. “We will never be a superpower if we are not going to believe that all religions are equal,” he added. To wish the actor on the milestone event, fans had converged outside his bungalow ‘Mannat’ since the wee hours. SRK stepped out to greet them and later took to Facebook to say that he is humbled by the love showered on him by his admirers. Leading the wishes on social media was the superstar’s wife Gauri Khan, who posted a picture of SRK cutting his birthday cake.