Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, whose remarks on intolerance had kicked up a political storm last year, on Sunday said freedom of speech also means the right to be silent.
He was speaking at the trailer launch of his upcoming movie ‘Fan’ in Mumbai.
When asked about his experience after his remarks on intolerance, Shah Rukh said, “When I would watch Mumbai Indians’ match against KKR, the only one appeal I would make is ‘Out’…I am not getting into this. Freedom of speech means the right to keep silent also. I am very silent about this.”
On his birthday in November last year, Shah Rukh Khan sparked a debate when he said during an interview that there was “extreme intolerance” in India. “Intolerance religiously…not being secular in this country is the worst crime you can do as a patriot,” he said. He was the first Bollywood actor to join the ongoing debate on intolerance in the country.
However, the actor retracted his statements just a few days later. “I talk about something and it is misconstrued, and I get into trouble. That’s a nuisance. Like that thing which blew up recently — I never said India is intolerant. When I was asked about it, I said I wouldn’t like talking about it, but when they insisted, I had just said that the youth should concentrate on making this a secular, progressive country,” he told Mid Day.
His film ‘Dilwale’ faced demonstrations in parts of the country. Earlier this month, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) members protested against the shooting of Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming film Raees in Bhuj, Gujarat, for his earlier remarks on “intolerance”.