NEW DELHI, APRIL 1 : After Indian soccer star Baichung Bhutia, it is the turn of film actor Aamir Khan to express his solidarity with the Tibetan cause — but in a completely contrasting fashion.
While Bhutia declined an invitation to participate in the Olympic torch relay when it comes to India on April 17, saying it was his way of standing by the people of Tibet, Aamir Khan today spurned calls for a similar boycott and said he will run “...not in support of China... but with a prayer in my heart for the people of Tibet...”
Stressing that he had “the highest regard and respect for the struggle that the people of Tibet are going through,” Aamir Khan said he would still run because the Olympic Games did not belong to China but to the entire human race.
“In fact, if we were to try and find on this planet a place to hold the Olympic Games where the government of that place has not been responsible for human rights violations (in one way or the other), then I suspect that we would be left with very few options, if any at all,” he wrote in his blog today.
“The Olympic Games represent for me the coming together of different people across the world despite their differences and difficulties. It is an opportunity for sportsmen and women across the world to showcase their talent, to challenge themselves and others, and for others to watch and marvel at the achievements of the human body, mind and soul,” he said.
The actor, an outspoken activist on human rights who has associated himself with a number of social causes in the past including the Narmada Bachao Andolan, said he had received numerous requests from family members, personal friends and people associated with the Tibetan struggle not to participate in the Olympic torch relay.
“I request those of you who have asked me to stay away from the Olympic Torch Relay to understand that when I do run with the torch on the 17th of April, it is not in support of China. In fact, it will be with a prayer in my heart for the people of Tibet, and indeed for all people across the world who are victims of human rights violations,” he wrote.