A few days before the release of Laal Singh Chaddha, the Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor-starrer found itself embroiled in a controversy. Hashtags calling for a boycott of the film started trending on social media.
Here's why trolls were calling for the boycott and here's how Aamir and Kareena responded.
Aamir's Remark About 'Growing Intolerance' in the Country
As per reports, the boycott hashtag began trending after a section of the Internet dug out bits from Aamir's 2015 interview, where he had spoken about the "growing intolerance" in the country. During an event Aamir had said, "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 added, "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. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day".
Later, Aamir had clarified that his remarks were taken out of context and his intention wasn't to harm anyone. "I was hurt and along with me many people have been hurt because of this misunderstanding. I give this credit to the media because you all have twisted my words. I request you all that please don't do this," Aamir said.
“Let me tell you that I never said that. I was born in India and I will die in India. I never thought about leaving the country. Neither Kiran nor will I think about it. In fact when I stay away from the country for two weeks I get homesick".
Controversy Around 'PK'
Ahead of its release in 2014, Aamir Khan-starrer PK was embroiled in controversy, with Hindu outfits demanding a ban on the film for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. Complaints were filed in several parts of the country, with the organisations alleging that the movie mocked Hindu gods and its contents were "highly provocative".
Despite the backlash, PK went on to earn around Rs 832 crore worldwide in the box office.
Aamir's Meeting With Turkish First Lady
Trolls have also dug up Aamir Khan's meeting with Turkey's First Lady Emine Erdogan while he was shooting for Laal Singh Chaddha. Erdogan had shared some photos with the actor on social media and had written, "I had the great pleasure of meeting @aamir_khan, the world-renowned Indian actor, filmmaker, and director, in Istanbul. I was happy to learn that Aamir decided to wrap up the shooting of his latest movie ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ in different parts of Turkey. I look forward to it!"
People reportedly took offence since Turkey had extended its support to Pakistan and Kashmir. In 2020, former Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had condemned the 'massacres' of Muslims after the riots in Delhi. "India right now has become a country where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims. By who? Hindus", he had said in one of his speeches.
He had also backed Pakistan on Kashmir and India revoking Article 370. "Today, the issue of Kashmir is as close to us as it is to you [Pakistanis]... Such a solution (on the basis of justice and fairness) will serve the interests of all parties concerned. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue in the resolution of the Kashmir issue," Erdogan had said.
'Dangal' & Secret Superstar's Success in China
Trolls are also citing Dangal and Secret Superstar's massive success in China while calling for the boycott of Laal Singh Chaddha.
What Aamir & Kareena Said About the Controversy
Responding to the controversy Aamir had told journalists,
"Yes, I feel sad. Also, I feel sad that some of the people who are saying this, in their heart, they believe that I am someone who doesn't like India. In their hearts they believe, but it is untrue. It is rather unfortunate that some people feel that way. That's not the case. Please don't boycott my film. Please watch my film".
In an interview with India Today Kareena also said, "Of course, because the accessibility is there today. Everyone has a voice today. There are different platforms. Everyone has an opinion. So now, if that is going to be there, then you have to learn to ignore certain things. Otherwise, it will just become impossible to live your life. And that’s why I don’t take any of this seriously. I just post whatever I want to post.”
“I am like ‘It’s a film and it’s going to release and everyone will have their opinion.’ So that’s it. If it’s a good film, I believe that it will surpass anything, pretty much, the response will be good. I think that good films will surpass anything,” she added.