Aamir Khan, the torchbearer

WHEN OTHERS his ilk are busy buying cricket teams, Aamir Khan is preparing for the glorious run with the Olympic Torch held high.

By N Anandhi, Contributor

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Published: Mon 7 Apr 2008, 12:04 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:43 PM

While the rest of Bollywood is furthering their businesses outside of films, Aamir is standing up for yet another social cause that of conservation of environment. While others have maintained their image in the public by being politically correct at all times, steering clear of any controversy, Aamir never thought twice before lending his support for the cause of poor families that were to be displaced by the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada. And it is this courage that sets him way apart from the rest of the tinsel townies. A hero in every sense! Here are excerpts from an exclusive interview with the star on his decision to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay, creating social awareness on various issues like conservation of resources and more:

Carrying the Olympic torch is going to be a proud moment for you.

Coke has always tried to bring about changes in the well-being of people and this time it is also the global partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic event, so I feel proud to join hands with them. This is the second time where I happen to have the privilege of holding the torch. Especially this is a step forward to create awareness about conserving the environment.

What is the reason that we Indians do not come back with Olympic medals?

We have capable sportsmen with enough potential to win a medal. But their potential is not being harnessed in a proper way. We should be able to translate the strength in their legs on to the right direction. We have enough of talent that has to be located and polished; just like a diamond that looks attractive only when polished.

Aren't you buying any cricket team ala Shah Rukh Khan and others?

I am a fan of cricket as a sport. I do not want to buy any team as such. I am only able to manage one thing at a time. So, I better devote time to films related to sport. Moreover, managing a cricket team is not what I would like to do.

You have always been associated with social causes. What draws you to such issues?

I am not doing anything in special. In fact, these are the basic needs of every human being. Whatever I am doing should be the responsibility of every citizen. Creating awareness about the natural resources that a man possesses and how to conserve them should be the priority for all. Less consumption of natural resources and more preservation should be the motto of each one of us. Moreover, if everybody initiates and steps forward, the world environmental conditions will, if not improve, at least not deteriorate. I have always been related to environmental causes because I care for Mother Nature.

So, how do you think we can bring about environmental awareness?

We should not misuse the environment, which is essential for us and we have to hand it over to the next generation. We are living in a tech savvy world and our day-to-day lives consume some sort of energy or the other. We cannot turn the clock back, but at least we can try to minimise the consumption of energy. We should act as a responsible citizen. For example if we are in the habit of using four buckets of water, we should cut down to one. Every commodity around us should be judiciously used. We need to be careful and not careless.

People hero-worship you, no doubt. But do you think people will follow you when you endorse such issues?

I do not think they necessarily need to follow me. Every individual should know the importance of environment and save it.

Don't you think a film based on environmental issues will create a good impact in the minds of the people?

If a script based on environmental issues comes to me I may line up a film. We as filmmakers entertain and try to bring the issue alive and present it to the people. Such films do help bring about changes in them.

What are your comments on stars who wilfully endorse alcohol and cigarettes etc.?

Well as a responsible citizen, I would not like to endorse any such item that will create any negative impact on the people. I always initiate endorsing stuff which I believe in. I am nobody to pass any judgment on the stars who endorse items like whisky, cigarettes etc. I like to do things which I am comfortable with.

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