OPEN LETTER

Selective outrage

PTI11_23_2015_000303B

Open Letter to Aamir Khan on his intolerance remarks

I watched the full video of your conversation with Anant Goenka that led to this controversy and it amazes me that just one portion of your comments have been blown out of proportion. In the course of that conversation you endorsed the right of people to express protests in non-violent ways. It is clear that you are a patriot and, more importantly, an artiste who is brave enough to speak up, very much like the journalists you were conversing with. If your name had been Aamir Singh instead of Aamir Khan, your comments would most likely have been a non-issue. There may yet be a silver lining to this controversy, steering more people to get the full context of your statements and hear your call for justice and non-violence, and reject the increasing extremism that seems to be ailing all religions.

Vijoy Mathew
San Francisco

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Be on the right side

You are a jewel in India's crown! As a great son of India, you have conducted yourself in exemplary manner. But a rash and ill-timed statement has really created doubts in many of your admirers. All of us are intolerant in many ways depending upon our background, education and experiences. Everybody would be happier if you had expressed intolerance towards poverty, ignorance, corruption, cleanliness, casteism, parochialism, nepotism, male chauvinism, gender divide, suppression and oppression of women, female infanticide, dowry, crime, use of government property for personal use all of which you showcased through Satyameva Jayate. But why were you not intolerant when Kashmiri pandits were made refugees in India, when the hands of a Professor in Kerala were chopped off, when the Amar Jawan sthal in Mumbai was vandalised, Gujarat riots happened, when Mangalore riots happened, when Nirbhaya was raped, or when A. Raja looted the country. You need to show a balanced approach and not be swayed by events or be instigated by some people. I hope you will remain tolerant and stay on the right side of right as you have been in the past. Satyameva Jayate.

Kiran Sitaram

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Blown out of proportion

Celebrities in India occupy a unique place in the psyche and consciousness of a larger section of Indians. Sensitive issues, especially if they are current, immediately catches up with the overall consciousness at a lightning speed. The 21st century has brought in its wake a host of unheard technologies enabling shaping and thinking of a larger section of public. The age-old ethos of the Indian psyche is built on the solid foundation based on the teachings of rishis, munis, and Sufi saints who have contributed to the development of our rich and ancient civilisation. However, few misguided sections of people, who are unfortunately unaware of this treasure of Indian ethos seize some issues, which are sensitive in their nature and, thereby, try to disturb this edifice of evolved ethical structure. An Indian mother’s concern for her children is well known in Indian culture. This concern has manifested and found expression in the social media, which was blown out of proportion. As an equally concerned parent, the celebrity has endorsed his own concern in view of the prevailing circumstances. This line of thought is perhaps interpreted to give an altogether different interpretation directed to cater to the tempers of a section of people. Giving a different meaning to the concern of parents is unfortunate.

Gaffar Rafi
Bengaluru

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