Bollywood actor Aamir Khan said on Thursday he respected the government’s decision to not renew his contract as the brand ambassador of the “Incredible India” campaign following widespread speculation that the star was axed due to his recent comments on intolerance.
In a statement, Khan said it was an honour and pleasure to serve as brand ambassador for the past 10 years and clarified all public service films done by him till date were free of cost.
“Whether I am brand ambassador or not, India will remain Incredible, and that’s the way it should be,” the actor’s statement said.
Khan said it was the prerogative of the government to decide if it needed a brand ambassador for any campaign, and if so, who that ambassador should be.
“I respect the decision of the government to discontinue with my services. I am sure they will take all appropriate steps to do what is best for the country.”
Tourism minister Mahesh Sharma has already pointed out the decision to discontinue with the actor’s services was a result of a contract with McCann Worldwide agency for the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaign running out.
“The ministry has not hired Aamir. Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
The actor came under searing criticism last year after revealing that he and his wife had considered moving out of India because a sense of “insecurity” and “fear” had seeped deep within society.
Khan’s comments had drawn sharp reactions from the BJP as well as some members of Bollywood and had snowballed into a huge row on social media.
The actor later clarified that neither he nor his wife Kiran had any intention of leaving the country and were proud Indians, but added that he stood by his remarks.