Please don't boycott my films, please watch them, superstar Aamir Khan has said in response to hashtags calling for the boycott of his upcoming film "Laal Singh Chaddha" trending on Twitter.
The hashtags #boycottlaalsinghchaddha and #boycottbollywood have garnered tens of thousands of posts on Twitter. There were also some calls for supporting the film, an official remake of the 1994 Hollywood movie "Forrest Gump".
"That Boycott Bollywood... Boycott Aamir Khan... Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha... I feel sad also because a lot of people who are saying this in their hearts believe I am someone who doesn't like India... In their hearts they believe that... And that's quite untrue," the 57-year-old star said.
Many posts calling for a boycott of Laal Singh Chaddha recalled an earlier controversy in 2015 when Aamir had said he was alarmed by a number of incidents of growing "intolerance" in India and that his then wife Kiran Rao had suggested they should probably leave the country.
Responding to calls that his new, much-awaited film be shunned, Aamir said he loves India and requested fans to not think otherwise. "I really love the country... That's how I am. It is rather unfortunate if some people feel that way. I want to assure everyone that it's not the case so please don't boycott my films, please watch my films," he said.
A section of Twitterati has also targeted his co-star Kareena Kapoor Khan by posting an old video in which she can be seen defending star children.
Directed by Advait Chandan of Secret Superstar fame, Laal Singh Chaddha follows the extraordinary journey of a simpleton named Laal (played by Aamir) as he chases his dreams and love. The film also features Mona Singh and Naga Chaitanya.
"When I chat with Kiran at home, she says Should we move out of India?' That's a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child (son Azad). She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day," Aamir had said at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2015.
"That does indicate that there is this sense of growing disquiet, there is growing despondency apart from alarm. You feel why this is happening, you feel low. That sense does exist in me," he had said.
Backed by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Aamir Khan Productions, Laal Singh Chaddha is scheduled to be released worldwide on August 11.