Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has assured fans he is safe and well after an article he wrote about his treatment in his homeland of India sparked a political war-of-words with neighbouring Pakistan.
In a piece for India's Outlook magazine, the actor revealed he is sometimes the "inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India".
Khan's remarks sparked concern from Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who called on "the government of India (to) please provide him (with) security".
The suggestion irritated India's Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh, who insisted, "We are capable of looking at the security of our own citizens. Let (Malik) worry about his own."
Now Rukh Khan has addressed the uproar and insists he is perfectly "safe and happy" in his homeland, and claims he has once again been used as a tool to whip up distrust of Muslims in India.
He says, "I would like to tell all those who are offering unsolicited advice that we in India are extremely safe and happy. We have an amazing democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environment that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life and material. As a matter-of-fact, it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue.
"Ironically, the article... was actually meant to reiterate that on some occasions my being an Indian Muslim film star is misused by bigots and narrow minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for small gains... and ironically the same has happened through this article... once again."
The actor is Indian, but due to his religious beliefs, has been accused of having an allegiance to Muslim-majority Pakistan.
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