New Delhi: Actor Shah Rukh Khan has said he is "really sorry if anybody has felt bad" and he is "not saying this because I want people to watch my film".
The actor was responding to a question on intolerance at ABP News’ special show 'Press Conference'. His new movie, Dilwale, is scheduled to be released this Friday.
On his birthday on November 2, Shah Rukh was quoted as saying: "There is intolerance, there is extreme intolerance... there is, I think... there is growing intolerance."
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya had then tweeted: "Shah Rukh lives in India, but his soul is in Pakistan".
The television programme, Press Conference, will be aired on ABP News at 8pm on Saturday.
The following are the specific questions and the answers.
Q: What is your view on intolerance?
SRK: I will answer this if you ask me specifically because I speak on specific issues these days.... What do you want to know about? Don't just say the word (intolerance)... tell me the exact context, then I will answer.
Q: I am asking a straight question. The situation that prevails in the country today... what do you think of intolerance?
SRK: I know whether there is intolerance or not... but what I was asked, because of which I was attacked from all quarters and which was debated so much, was what will I say to the future generations... as I am in the seniority zone now... not as senior as you are... but senior enough... so for modernness... for modern India, which is progressing every year... and since I travel across the world a lot, so I realise that our country is progressing a lot... and going towards modernity.
All I wanted to say is whenever 50 per cent of our countrymen who are 25 (or below)... if there is a message that I would want to give to them, 'it would be good if there is no discrimination on the basis of region, religion, caste, colour, creed, sex or gender'.
I don't mean that it's happening at present... I say it clearly... I have got scared... everything is fine in our country... God bless India... long live us... long live us Indians... there is no problem at all....
Nobody has shown any intolerant behaviour towards me... except for the time when I, except in front of people and they get offended.... Otherwise, even then they are tolerant... I know I make mistake (by smoking in public)... whatever I say... whatever I do... I have never said it anywhere. Nor will I say.
And please, there would be a few idiot people who will say that I am clarifying now because my film is releasing... but no what is true is true... I have never said it...nor do I think it....
I think we are on the cusp of modernisation and the best of place where a country can be... we will, we can and we should be a superpower but small little issues... I think for younger generations... I am not saying it for the generation that exists... I am not saying that right now we are intolerant.
I am not saying there is - I don't know what to call it in Hindi so if you can translate it for me (audience says " asahishnuta")... yes, that's what - I am not saying it's there in our country at the moment... It's not there at all....
I am happy... I am a happy go lucky person... I am a patriot... I am a nationalist.... I am really sorry if anybody has felt bad... and I am not saying this because I want people to watch my film... they will watch it if they want.
There is no issue if they don't...you all should be happy but nowhere have I said anything which is wrong.
Having said that, every time I speak, things are misunderstood. This is perhaps the last place... and the best place... after this, any question asked from me should be based on my cheapness, my films, don't ask me anything about important issues... neither on economic development... nor social... or society, caste, creed or politics... I don't know anything... All I know is to act... that too only to some extent, according to a lot of people. So that's what I will do. I don't want to say anything other than this.