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Full statement: Aamir Khan 'proud to be an Indian', hits back at haters

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 25 November 2015, 17:04 IST

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has finally spoken out on the outrage over his comment on "growing intolerance in India". In a media statement, the actor said that neither he nor his wife have any intention to leave the country.

Here's a copy of the official statement issued by the actor:

First let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying.

Secondly, I stand by everything that I have said in my interview.

To all those people who are calling me anti-national, I would like to say that I am proud to be Indian, and I do not need anyone's permission nor endorsement for that.

To all the people shouting obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point.

To all the people who have stood by me, thank you. We have to protect what this beautiful and unique country of ours really stands for. We have to protect its integrity, diversity, inclusiveness, its many languages, its culture, its history, its tolerance, it's concept of ekantavada, it's love, sensitivity and its emotional strength.

I would like to end my statement with a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, it's a prayer really :

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,

Where knowledge is free,

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments,

by narrow domestic walls,

Where words come out from the depth of truth,

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection,

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way,

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit,

Where the mind is led forward by thee,

Into ever-widening thought and action,

Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.

Jai Hind.

Aamir Khan.

Also read: No dil ki deal?: Snapdeal app downgraded; demand to remove Aamir as brand ambassador

Here's the entire roundup of the controversy:

Aamir Khan on Tuesday, 24 November found himself in the center of a political storm over his remarks on intolerance, with the BJP sharply criticising him and Congress stoutly defending him.

The actor-producer's candid remarks at an awards event in New Delhi the previous day set Twitter abuzz and left the film fraternity divided.

Read: Everything you should know about Aamir Khan's intolerance controversy

First published: 25 November 2015, 17:04 IST