The government denied on Wednesday it had removed Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador of Incredible India -- a campaign to promote tourism in the country – hours after reports of the actor being dropped emerged on the web.
“In response to certain news reports appearing in the media, about Shri Aamir Khan, the ministry of tourism clarifies that there is no change in the stand of the ministry in this matter,” a statement released by the tourism ministry said.
The ministry, however, clarified it had a contractual agreement with creative agency McCann Worldgroup to produce a social awareness campaign and the said campaign featured Khan. McCann did not immediately say whether its contract with Khan was still active.
Several news reports started doing the rounds after Amity Malviya, who handles the IT, website and social media management cell for the BJP, tweeted: “Aamir Khan removed as brand ambassador of Incredible #India.”
Aamir Khan removed as brand ambassador of Incredible #India.— Amit Malviya (@malviyamit) January 6, 2016
Khan had courted controversy in November last year when he said his wife, Kiran Rao, was considering whether to move out of the country due to the prevalence of an atmosphere of “intolerance”.
“As an individual, as part of this country as a citizen, we read in the papers what is happening, we see it on the news and certainly, I have been alarmed. I cannot deny. I have been alarmed by a number of incidents,” he said while speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards ceremony.
Khan has featured in a number of commercials issued in public interest by the government. Malviya’s tweet sparked the ire of Twitterati with many poking fun at the purported decision and some backing it up.