Veteran screenwriter Javed Akhtar today warned "bigots" to be wary of communalising the Indian film industry, which he termed as "the citadel of secularism". The 73-year-old lyricist-writer's comments come after India-based French journalist Francois Gautier had responded to reports of a planned on-screen adaptation of Mahabharat, in which Aamir Khan could possibly play Krishna, highlighting the Bollywood star's religion.
Without naming Gautier, Akhtar, who has spent 53-years in films, asked people to stop spreading hatred in the name of faith in the field of cinema. "I had joined film industry in 1965 on a salary of 50 rupees per month. In these 53 years not for a second I have experienced or even seen any communal bias in our industry.
"This film industry is the citadel of secularism. Bigots, don't try to pollute it," he tweeted today.
Gautier had tweeted, "Why should @AamirKhan, a Muslim, play in most ancient & sacred of Hindu epics, the Mahabharata? Is @BJP4India Govt of @narendramodi going to be like the @INCIndia & just stand by in name of secularism??? Would Muslims allow a Hindu to play life of Mohamed?"
Akhtar had earlier slammed the journalist for behaving like a PR machine, calling him "clueless" about Indian history and films.
"Can somebody educate this clueless idiot Gautier that a film Mahabharata was made in 1965 and had become a super hit. The producer's name was Ghaffar Bhai Nadiadwala. This is India that we are proud of. Can some body explain it to the dimwit," Akhtar had written earlier.
While promoting Secret Superstar, Aamir Khan had said, " "My dream project is to make the Mahabharata but I'm afraid of starting the project as I know it will consume at least 15-20 years of my life."
He had further added, "My favourite character is Karna, but I don't know if I'll be able to play him due to my physique. I may just have to play Krishna. I also liked the character of Arjun. He was the only person who asked Krishna why he had to kill his own people."
Inputs From PTI