Freedom of speech

Bollywood star says he and his wife are alarmed over growing intolerance in India

Indian Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, (C), with his wife, director Kiran Rao and son Azad (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A Bollywood movie star and popular TV host announced this week that he and his wife have considered leaving India over an increase in intolerance and restrictions on free speech in the country in recent months. Aamir Khan, who appeared at the Women in the World New York Summit in April, said he supports those filmmakers, writers, and academics who are returning awards they have won for their creative work as a sign of protest for the chilling crackdown on free speech there, and that his wife fears for their child because of a growing sense of insecurity.

“As an individual, as part of this country as a citizen, we read in the papers what is happening, we see it on the news and certainly, I have been alarmed. I can’t deny. I have been alarmed by a number of incidents,” he said while speaking at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards.

In May, a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court that freedom of expression is not an absolute right set off months of protests over free speech and intolerance. The country has also seen unrest recently over the Hindu ban on beef consumption and the right of Indian citizens to speak freely about choosing to eat it — an argument that pits a growing conservatism against the liberal intelligentsia in the country.

Read the full story at The Times of India.


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