New Delhi/Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan found himself in the centre of a political controversy on Tuesday over his remarks on intolerance.
At an awards event in New Delhi on Monday, the actor-producer said: "For the last six to eight months, there has been a growing despondency I would say. Kiran (wife Kiran Rao) and I have lived all our life in India. When I sit at home and talk to Kiran, for the first time she said, 'Should we move out of India?' Now that's a very disastrous and a big comment to make to me."
We present a few facts about the countries he might be considering:
United States of America
If Aamir Khan and his wife are so alarmed about the condition in India, they must be very well aware of the incidents in the US. The country which did not hesitate to keep Muslim charity organisations on surveillance and where people belonging to a community faced backlash following the deadly 9/11 terror attacks should be described as tolerant or intolerant – we leave it to Aamir. Rise in shooting incidents across the US is also a major concern.
Two years ago, data from NatCen’s authoritative British Social Attitudes survey shows that after years of increasing tolerance, the percentage of people who describe themselves as prejudiced against those of other races has risen overall since 2001. Aamir and Kiran should also take into account rising inequality and increasing hostility towards immigration while deciding about moving to the UK. A recent report suggested that Muslims living in Britain have suffered over 100 racial attacks since the terror attacks in Paris. The report shows a rise in Islamophobic hate crime of over 300 percent in the week following the recent attacks in France.
Is Aamir planning to move to the country which is struggling to retain its reputation as a safe destination for Indian students? A number of horrific attacks on Indian students in Australia have made headlines in India. The Indian government had in the past issued a travel warning for Indian students planning to study in Australia, accused of being racist and unsafe. Anti-Islamic incidents are also widely reported in the country.
Pakistan is definitely a `tolerant` country. The country which gave refuge to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim seems quite tolerant of the terror activities taking place on its soil. If Pakistan fits the bill, we would like to remind Aamir of Pakistan's shrinking minority space.