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I am not interested in politics : Aamir Khan

Jun 8, 2012 ,

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Aamir Hussain Khan (Born on 14 March 1965) is an Indian film actor, director, and producer who has established himself as one of the leading actors of Hindi cinema (commonly referred to as "Bollywood"). Starting his career as a child actor in his uncle Nasir Hussain's film Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Khan began his professional career eleven years later with Holi (1984) and had his first commercial success with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988). He received his first National Film Award as a Special Jury Award for his roles in the films Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) and Raakh (1989). After eight previous nominations during the 1980s and 1990s, Khan received his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performance in the major grosser Raja Hindustani (1996) and later earned his second Best Actor award for his performance in the Academy Award-nominated Lagaan, which also marked the debut of his own production company. Following a four-year break from acting, Khan made his comeback playing the title role in the historical drama Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005), and later won a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his role in Rang De Basanti (2006). The following year, he made his directorial debut with Taare Zameen Par, for which he received the Filmfare Award for Best Director. This was followed by the thriller Ghajini (2008), which became the highest grossing film of that year, and the comedy 3 Idiots (2009), which became the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all-time. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri in 2003 and the Padma Bhushan in 2010 for his contributions towards the arts. On 30 November 2011, Khan was appointed as national brand ambassador of UNICEF to promote child nutrition. He is part of the government organised IEC campaign to raise awareness about malnutrition.

In an exclusive interview with Radhika Bhirani, Aamir Khan talks about his show Satyamev Jayate, on why he is not interested in joining politics and his reactions to the response his talk show has got from all over India.
Q: Your show Satyamev Jayate has received stupendous response from all quarters. Has the audience given it more love than you expected?
Aamir Khan: This is a very dream reaction that we are getting.. right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, people are watching it in the small towns, villages, big cities… People across all economic groups and across rural and urban areas are watching it. The way people are emotionally connected to it is great. The way it is moving them, touching them, and affecting them is very heartening.
Q: You seem to have donned the role of a social reformer. Post Satyamev Jayate, do we see you take on a larger role at some point, perhaps join politics?
Aamir Khan: I am not interested in politics, so I won’t be joining politics. I feel what I am able to do from where I am, from the the stream that I am in, is much more. I can contribute much more (this way). So I am happy doing that.
Q: Is there any follow-up mechanism to the social issues that you have been raising on the show?
Aamir Khan: We believe information and knowledge make you act differently. Giving a broad example, if you look at a film like Taare Zameen Par.. When the film was released, majority of the country’s population had no idea that there was something like dyslexia, a learning disability. Thereafter, it started having an impact that has continued till today. So what we can do with this show is – 13 Taare Zameen Par.
We are trying to get the viewers to look inwards. We are not expecting you to join an andolan (revolution) on female foeticide, nor are we expecting you to barge in each house of your neighbourhood to check if they are doing it or not… what we are expecting is that you yourself should not do it, and if somebody is thinking of doing it, you should discourage them from doing it.
We are trying to show the way forward. And by that I don’t mean that we have a solution. So in answer to what the follow up is to this – I don’t know what it is. What we are doing is basic, essential, fundamental and primary. And according to me, the follow-up or rather fallout of this will be very organic in itself.
Q: Several individuals and NGOs work towards society’s betterment. But that hasn’t helped so far. What do you have to say?
Aamir Khan: We are not discovering a new issue, we are actually tackling issues that are well known. Our research is based on work done by experts and social activists over the last 20 to 30 years. So their work is remarkable and important. Now what do I bring to the table?
Their work is the foundation of our work, and I am using my goodwill, which I have earned over the last two-and-a-half-decades. I am trying to put it to good use and using television, a fantastically strong medium, to address issues on a mass scale.
Q: You have let go of the aura around a celebrity to come closer to the country’s masses and their problems. How gratifying is the experience?
Aamir Khan: It’s been an amazing journey to come in contact with people from different parts of the country and from different cultures. I have had the good fortune of learning so much more about the country. It has got me closer to the people of our country. It is a huge learning experience for me to do this show.
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