I want to be taken seriously: Salman Khan

I want to be taken seriously: Salman KhanA superstar for over a decade, Salman Khan is controversies’ favourite child. Known for his golden heart and relentless rage, the macho Khan is often misunderstood and misquoted, resulting in a sore relationship with the media. Nevertheless, with his generous acts and warming gestures, the actor has often turned hearts in his favour. Looking forward to audiences’ response to his action flick ‘Wanted’, the actor spoke to Swati Chaturvedi on her show Kahiye Janab about his on and off relationship with the media and much more. Swati: You have been brought up in a family that believes in diverse cultures. How do you feel about different religions?

Salman: See, it all started with my father. My dad comes from a Muslim family and my mom is from a Hindu background. So when they married and we were born, we had the best of both the religions.

Swati: You respect all religions.

Salman: I respect all humans. And nowhere is it written that one should not respect other people’s customs. In fact, I feel that if one doesn’t respect other’s religion, then no one will respect their religion as well.

Swati: Islam is attacked all over the world and in our own country too. What’s your say on it?

Salman: What I feel is that, if one believes in Rasool then one should believe in it thoroughly. If one believes in Islam, then do as it preaches and if you believe in Quran, then go by its true meaning.

Swati: How do you feel when people use racial discrimination as a way to promote their flicks?

Salman: I don’t believe in such things and I have never resorted to such tactics. If someone has gone through such an incident then it’s for them to say. Since it has never happened to me, I don’t think I should comment on such things. But this time when I was campaigning for my friends in elections, I saw Hindu people in Muslim areas and vice versa. I personally feel that people like to create issues by racial profiling, but in reality the situation isn’t so bad.
Swati: You campaigned for a lot of leaders across party lines.

Salman: Yes. They are my friends and I admire their work. I respect them for the social causes they have worked for and that was the sole reason for my campaigning for them. They were many others who were also my pals, but I didn’t campaign for them.

Swati: Tell us about your political believes?

Salman: I don’t have political believes, I have social believes. I feel that politicians are social workers. They work a lot for the betterment of the public.

Swati: Will you ever join politics?

Salman: No, never.

Swati: Considering your politician friends, you must have been offered a ticket …

Salman: Yes, they have offered me a seat. But I am just not interested. I don’t feel that I can do justice to the field. I think for being a politician one has to start really young because there are a lot of more things and social causes you can undertake when you are young. As for me, I am happy being just an actor. I am happy, if I am able to take my creativity to the next level and use my star power to help deserving leaders.

Swati: Your paintings are very popular. When did you start painting?

Salman: As a child, I use to paint. Say, when I was two and a half years old. As I grew I started sketching as a hobby. Then just a few years back, I bought a couple of paintings. They were very expensive. One day, I just felt like I should try to see if I could paint and to my surprise I did quite a decent job.

Swati: What’s the inspiration behind your paintings and what’s their theme?

Salman: My charity ‘Being Human’ is my sole inspiration. My work will be auctioned soon and all the money will go for my charity. It will go to save lives, especially children. As for the theme, it’s peace.

Swati: Our campaign ‘India First’ is based on the value that a person might be of a certain religion but it’s his craft that makes him respectable. What do you feel about that?

Salman: It’s very true. A person might be from any religion, but at the end of the day, it’s his work that makes him who he is. Look at Dilip Kumar and A R Rahman they are respected for their work not for their religion.
Swati: Do you think racial profiling is there in the Indian film industry?

Salman: No, not at all. We don’t believe in racial bias at all. And frankly speaking such things don’t happen anymore.

Swati: Do you feel that actors today are increasingly getting publicity hungry?

Salman: See you can’t just call actors’ publicity hungry. More than stars, it’s the media that it running after the stars. I do agree that it’s a mutual relationship. But then there are so many stars who will be asking you to cover them and yet you don’t. Media also covers only those stars, who they know will get them higher TRP ratings.

Swati: It’s often stated that you don’t like journalist. Why do you differentiate between your fans and the media?

Salman: Firstly, it’s not true that I don’t like journalists. But some reporters worry me. They ask me ridiculous questions and I just avoid them. Some reporters are really nice and I share a different rapport with them.

Swati: It’s also observed that you don’t seem to mind answering annoying question when your fans ask them, but get peeved when the same is posed by a journo..

Salman: Yes, that’s true. But the reason behind this is the difference in intention. When my fans ask me such questions it’s out of innocence, but when media makes such enquires it’s for getting a higher TRP rating. Some journalists ask me such questions, which even my friends would hesitate asking. They pose awkward, meaningless questions, which at times don’t even concern me. They want a scoop to boost their channel rating by quoting me differently, so I try to stay away from them.

Swati: What’s ‘Wanted’ all about?

Salman: ‘Wanted’ is an action film. I did it because I wanted to do an action film for a long time. It’s got everything from action, drama, dancing and romance.

Swati: So what does Salman Khan want?

Salman: Salman Khan wants to be taken seriously.

Adaptation: Tanu Talwar