INDIA. Mumbai, Maharashtra. Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s meeting with the First Lady of Turkey, Emine Erdoğan, in Istambul, during the shooting of his upcoming Hindi film “Laal Singh Chaddha” has irked many netizens across India.
A photograph of their meeting was tweeted by the first lady herself with a tweet, “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!” she tweeted.
Compliments to Aaamir
As per the official website of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” First Lady Emine Erdoğan received Indian cinema’s world-renowned actor Aamir Khan at Huber Villa in Istanbul on 15 August. Khan stated that he would complete the shooting of his latest film, which couldn’t be completed in India due to COVID-19, in Turkey, and invited First Lady Erdoğan to the film set.
Aamir’s meeting with Emine Erdoğan has not gone down well with some Indian citizens who raised concerns about the strained ties between India and Turkey and Erdoğan’s “anti-India” stand.
As per the excerpts of speeches by Turkish president at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25 September 2019, Erdoğan had said, “In India, Muslim youth are being whipped, beaten by machetes and even sentenced to death just for eating beef, which cannot be defended. At the moment, Kashmir has virtually turned into an open-air prison. Entering and exiting are virtually forbidden. I cannot imagine what kind of bloody actions will take place in that region in the future. I neither want to understand nor to tell about it. We as Turkey will continue to spearhead all efforts to actively fight against rising Islamophobia, racism, and hate speech.”
Remarks on Kashmir situation
Similarly in a joint press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, after the 6th meeting of the Turkey-Pakistan High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Islamabad, on 14 February 2020, Erdoğan had stressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir who had experienced great suffering and oppression. “We are gravely concerned that the situation in the region has turned into a predicament despite all the steps taken recently. Turkey favors the settlement of the Kashmir issue through dialogue between Pakistan and India based on relevant UN resolutions and by the expectations of our brothers and sisters in Kashmir.
“Erdogan challenges India’s sovereignty”
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Senior Advocate Gaurab Bhatia said that “Aamir Khan is a good actor and he is on our heart. But how he can meet the Turkish first lady when Turkey has been speaking against India. Some time back the Turkish president had also commented, out of context, that the Muslims were harassed during Delhi riots. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) spokesperson Vinod Bansal said that the hearts of some persons and artists are bursting with love for the people from enemy countries. VHP is an pro-nationalist Hindu right-wing organization
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy also tweeted, “So I have been proven right in classifying Aamir Khan as one of the 3 Khan Musketeers?” Besides, there have been bountiful tweets from netizens saying Aamir Khan meets Emine Erdogan, wife of Recep who openly challenges India’s sovereignty from Pak’s parliament! But won’t attend the Shalom India fest in Mumbai itself, where Netanyahu and Modi were present as well.
However, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi tweeted “Aamir is a free citizen [who] can meet whom [he wants] and do what he likes. Connecting unconnectable!” It may be recalled that a few years back, no sooner had the BJP come to power in India when Aamir Khan said that his wife was worried about the future of their children due to “growing intolerance” in India.