“Definitely Not” is the exact statement used by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, who is heading the Ministry Of Culture in India, when a reporter asked him clarification on Aamir Khan’s contract renewal as Incredible India’s ambassador. The existing contract with McCann Worldwide agency for “Atithi Devo Bhava” campaign which was launched by UPA is getting expired and it makes a lot of sense to remove Aamir Khan from his current responsibilities due to a number of sufficient reasons. What is to be noted is that this is not the first instance where Aamir has come under heavy criticism, earlier this year Aamir’s picture was removed from Snap Deal’s official Twitter home page and the company distanced itself from his insensitive statement about leaving India which was ignited by a popular outrage among fellow twitterati.
Before Bollywood biggies and self-proclaimed liberals come in support of Aamir Khan with hash tags #IAmWithAamir, we should see what the real motive behind such a move is. Aamir Khan in the month of November 2015, in an interview suggested that he and his wife are increasingly finding it difficult to stay in an Intolerant nation like India and are truly fearing for the lives of their kids. This coming from a man who in spite of the fact that he has married two Hindu women, has openly declared a statement saying that “We never practiced each other’s religion neither did we force each other to do so. But, of course, I had made it very clear that my kids will always follow only Islamic religion”. There is nothing wrong in following any particular religion in India but do we need to use the statement “BUT OF COURSE” like it is an obvious thing to make kids follow “MY RELIGION” even if both parents do not enforce their religions on each other? Such a narrow minded statement clearly shows him in poor limelight and as a man who has failed to embrace or represent the entire Indian community.
Aamir Khan has always been vocal about his opinion to social issues either in the form of movies or bringing it to the audience in his show “Satyamev Jayate”. But what is interesting to note is that, a person who has mocked the religious practices of Hinduism and Hindu pontiffs in his recent movie PK, he failed to replicate the same across all communities. Interestingly just after this movie was released, a picture of Aamir stoning the Shaitan in Mecca was circulated in Facebook, oddly this is a religious practice in Islam which is fervently followed but was conveniently not criticized in his movie.
In September 2015 a Fatwa was issued by Mumbai based Raza Academy against India’s most popular music composer A R Rahman, who incidentally has delivered bock bluster movies like Laagan with Aamir Khan. But unfortunately ARR was left in the lurch to fend for himself and Aamir was nowhere to be seen in spite of being a strong supporter of freedom of speech. The silence of a socially opinionated Aamir is even more curious when 2015 saw two major violence clashes broke out in Muslim dominated districts of Aambur in Tamil Nadu and Malda in West Bengal, where Muslims went on a rampage against Hindu. Goes on to show that his social opinions are again motivated based only on certain criteria.
What one should understand is India is a country which has produced countless Nationalist Muslims who have embraced both Islam and Hindu cultures alike and hence when we try to represent someone as the Ambassador of India, he should have certain valid credentials rather than being just a popular face. Let’s take an example of APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India who simply had revolutionized the post by his trademark characteristics. He was someone who had the ability to look at every kid in India as a student irrespective of their religion and ignited their minds with passion into learning new technologies. During one of his visits to a popular Chennai school, he visited the Sanskrit department and asked the Head of the Department as to whether he has explained to his students on the real power of Gayathri Manthra leaving the professor completely speechless.
Hoping that the new Ambassador for Ministry of Culture (India) will be chosen wisely and leaving behind a thought for Aamir Khan’s fans and other Bollywood fans to just look at this as a move aimed at choosing the right person for the right job, not an injustice to the minorities of India.