This Khan is King of Causes

Aamir was by the roadside, listening to ailments of Bhopal gas victims and NBA activists, writes Isha Singh Sawhney.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 01:06 IST

Aamir Khan may have climbed down from the yellow motorbike in Rang De Basanti, but the actor is in no hurry to grow out of the role of a hero fighting for causes.

On Friday, Khan was sitting by the roadside in Delhi, clutching a sheaf of pamphlets and listening to the complaints of Bhopal gas victims and the Narmada Bachao Andolan activists.

"It is my responsibility to show my support to human beings who are suffering," said Khan, stopping short of hitting the patriotic high of his character DJ in Rang De. All his latest roles - in The Rising and the forthcoming Fanaah - play on causes, historic or social.

While Khan is moving from reel to real, Delhiites have seen his silverscreen image impacting the Capital. The candlelight vigil held for Jessica Lall at the India Gate was straight out of a scene from Rang De. It could be a reason why the Tehelka Foundation flew in Khan, co-stars Kunal Kapoor and Atul Kulkarni, and director Rakeysh Mehra to give support to NBA and Bhopal survivors.

So should the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam be raised? "I don't know the technicalities regarding raising the height of the dam," confessed Khan. "But when the government takes a farmer's land, he should be compensated."

However, the starry presence overshadowed the significance of the cause Khan was espousing. There was near-stampede as fans jostled to see their hero than hear the arguments of NBA. Even some veteran activists complained that Khan's presence was a distraction.

At least, the star brought people and publicity to the NBA camp, which has been quite deserted after Medha Patkar was hospitalised. And, maybe, fans will remember the hero's goodwill gesture when Fanaah is released.

First Published: Apr 15, 2006 01:06 IST