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Why Aamir Khan is wrong

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Muhammad Aamir Hussain Khan, popularly known as Mr. Perfectionist is one of the most popular and successful Bollywood entertainers. He is having millions of followers both in India and abroad and his movies are widely watched by millions. No one can deny the fact that he is one of the most talented actors in Bollywood film industry but his dark side and hypocrisy has brought a lot of criticism from people.

Starting with the intolerance debate that was sparked when Narendra Modi came into power, Khan was one of the first ones to jump into it. In one interview, he claimed that his wife and children were feeling unsafe in today’s India and wanted to move abroad due to religious intolerance growing in the country. Not realizing the power of social media and a new awakening among the majority of the Indians, Khan was badly trolled and criticized. He was totally taken aback after witnessing the rage amongst people including his ardent fans and followers. Later, he had to come up with made up stories and clarifications to clear his image. He realized that the country is no more the same when people like him enjoyed all the rights even after abusing masses and running propaganda against the country. Since then, Khan has hardly been seen appearing in interviews from mainstream media. This was the first time when people started observing him, his all-dark side and hypocrisy unfolded one by one.

Let’s start with his preaching of secularism and religious tolerance. He married a Hindu but his own tolerance vanished when he openly said he wants his children to follow Islam and nothing else. He does not want his children to freely choose the faith they want to follow neither his wife (now divorced) has been given any right to have her say in the matter. The beheading of Kamlesh Tiwari by Islamists just for making Facebook post against Islamic figures, his murder got no condemnation from Aamir Khan. One or two incidents of lynching of Muslims, which is highly condemnable, was made into a complete religious intolerance debate which Khan supported wholeheartedly. His 2014 film-PK portrayed Hindu gods and goddesses in a disgraceful manner. Yet, his film was commercially successful and let us not forget that majority of his viewers are Hindus themselves. The vast majority of Hindus accepted it as a part of art, creativity and there was no protest anywhere, hence the question arises where is the intolerance?

Again, Khan came into controversy when he met First Lady of Turkey back in 2020 during his visit to the country that too at a time when Turkey’s President made statement against India and Hindus and ranted on Kashmir issue when article 370 was abrogated. As a public figure and someone who somehow represents his nation abroad, did not even consider not meeting those who made anti India statement and ran propaganda against Hindus at world stage. Meeting the first lady at Hagia Sophia which was turned into a mosque, was no problem for Khan but he passed no comments on Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Temple in Ayodhya the same year. Aamir was certain to not to meet Israeli PM during his official visit to India in 2018 at a time when India – Israel was coming together like never before. Few Bollywood stars including Amitabh Bachchan had a fine meeting with the leader but all the Khans including Aamir were missing. So, the question arises, what is more important for Aamir- his country or religion or his image that’d have got a stain in the middle east or in his community after meeting the Israeli PM?

Coming to his films, he has come under scanner for twisting facts and misleading the viewers. Starting with Mangal Pandey, a film based on the freedom fighter with the same name as of the film, was shown as a devout Brahmin who revolted against the British after he found out that the cartridges used in the weapons were made up of animal meat which went against his religious beliefs which resulted in the revolt and started the 1857 war of independence. Although the facts are still misleading but acceptable to some extent, the most misleading part in the film was his relation with a prostitute which historically is unproven and there are no records regarding this fact.

Even after this shameless attempt to tarnish the image of the legend Mangal Pandey, Aamir Khan didn’t stop his subtle propaganda against real life heroes. Another film Dangal which went on to become his highest grossing film, showed the real-life story of wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat. The film showed him as father of both the wrestlers, who were forced by him to consume meat in order to become better in the sport. But in reality, both the sisters never consume meat and yet manage to beg medals and rewards at international level. Khan chose to portray this lie in the film when majority of the viewers are Hindus and amongst Hindus, many are strictly vegetarian due to their religious beliefs.

Whether spitting on the hands of heroines before film shoot or meeting controversial Pakistani Islamic preacher Tariq Jameel or turning blind eye on regressive and medieval era practices like triple talaq in Muslim society, Aamir Khan’s dubious character has been exposed now. It is up to the Indian viewers to treat Khan normally like any other film actor or continue to consider him as an intellectual like the media and elites do.

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