Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan says that sometimes he feels “very sad” and even feels like crying when he is made to prove his patriotism, asserting there is no patriot “greater” than him.
The 50-year-old actor was at the centre of a controversy last year for his comments on patriotism in the wake of a raging debate on intolerance and faced backlash on the social media.
“Sometimes I feel very sad, I even feel like crying, that I should be made to say that I belong to this country, I am a patriot. I am a patriot, rather we all are. We do not have to compete with others to say we are patriots,” he told Rajat Sharma on the latest edition of India TV show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’.
“I get very sad when I am supposed to explain each and everytime how good a patriot I am,” he added.
The star said his message to the youth would be to be tolerant and work towards taking this nation forward as small, petty matters should not harm the nation’s interest.
“Whether my film ‘Fan’ is a hit or not, I want to say for the last time, I will not repeat it again that there is no patriot greater than me.”
Asked by the host whether there was a perception that he had friends in Congress, who wanted to “fix” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shahrukh said, “How dare I fix anyone? You have known me long. I am apolitical though I have friends everywhere.”
Shahrukh also clarified his comments during the intolerance controversy, saying his remarks were taken out of context.
“I had only advised the young to not be intolerant in matters related to religion, caste, colour, creed and region. My father was one of the youngest freedom fighters. How can I think that this country has not been fair to any of us? A man like me who has got everything from this country, I will be the last one to complain.
“My family itself is mini-India. My wife is Hindu, I am Muslim by birth and my three children follow three religions so how can I think of my country like this?,” he said.
The actor, whose double role in “Fan” has come in for praise, claimed he leaves it to the producer to decide the amount for his film roles.
“I never take money for acting in films. I only charge fees for endorsements, for events and live shows. I tell producers to pay me whatever they wish, if the films do well at the box office. I don’t take acting in films as business.”
Reminded by Sharma that Shahrukh had 22-years ago claimed to be a better actor than Amitabh Bachchan on the show, the actor attributed it to the arrogance of youth.
“That was my overconfidence as a youth. 22 years later, I have now realised that I had no idea what makes a great actor. That was because of lack of education. My arrogance was sheer childishness. Even now at the age of 50 I sometimes appear to be childish,” he said.