Bollywood star Aamir Khan, whose comments over growing intolerance in India has drawn the ire of right-wing Hindus, has asked his wife Kiran and their child to leave Mumbai for a few days for the sake of their safety, a source close to the family told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
Khan, 50, is under attack from the BJP and other Hindu groups for revealing his wife had suggested moving abroad following a spate of communal incidents in the country. Noisy protests have been reported from outside his residence in Mumbai as well as Patna, where angry Hindu activists painted his posters with black ink before setting them on fire.
“Aamir has asked Kiran to leave Mumbai for 2-3 days since he has been worried about her safety. They have decided to not talk further on this issue,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
“The actor feels that he has already expressed his opinion on the matter and has nothing to clarify.”
Neither the actor nor his wife took calls from HT through Tuesday.
A complaint has also been registered at a police station in New Delhi against Khan who made his comments over intolerance at a media awards event in the city on Monday.
“Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me,” Khan had said.
“She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet.”
Khan’s anxiety about his family’s safety may not be misplaced as a barrage of controversial Hindu leaders such as BJP MP Yogi Adityanath and VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi fired a barrage of shots at him.
“Out of Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel, they (Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan) should disclose the name of the country where they want to go. We will arrange tickets for them,” said Prachi.
For his part, Adityanath said: “Those who want to leave (India) must not be stopped.”
A complaint was also registered at a police station in Delhi against him.
Senior ministers also spoke out against Khan but the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have backed the popular artist.
Khan has been sucked into a swirling debate over growing intolerance in the country with opposition parties accusing tacit approval by the ruling BJP was behind the spike in sectarian violence, such as Mohammad Ikhlaq’s mob lynching and the killing of Dalit children in Faridabad.