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Shah Rukh Khan perturbed at 'misuse' of religion

April 28, 2004 18:13 IST

Alleging that a 'few people' are 'misusing' religion to spread communal disharmony, Bollywood heart-throb Shah Rukh Khan has asked the educated middle class to stand up against the problem which is holding the country back from becoming a superpower.

During an interview to BBC's Asia Today programme, 38-year-old Khan decried the 'misuse of religion for very small benefits, very small unimportant agendas'.

"For India to be progressing faster, what it needs is to control any kind of communal disharmony which I personally feel is in the hands of a few people who misuse it for their agendas," said Khan, who describes himself as a 'walking, talking secular example'.

The actor, who is married to a Hindu, said the educated middle class, which is growing at a very fast pace, "has to take a stand and understand and has to feel that the only thing which can stop India from being the greatest superpower in the world is the misuse of communalism.

"Our country has been misused at times by this communal disharmony thing. It will only take us backward, it's very sad for people who get affected, who get disturbed, whose lives are finished because of reasons like this.

"We should take a stand and we should talk against it. Even if (we) don't talk against it, we should feel completely against it," Khan said adding. "I think that (is) most important. That's my role in this country for that aspect."

He, however, is convinced that Indians by nature are 'very secular and have been very secular'.

Citing his example, he said, "The biggest case in point is that a Muslim guy is one of the top stars for the last 13 years. They have accepted me, nobody has ever questioned my... For years it has been."

He ruled out joining politics, saying he held a 'strong belief' that everyone is made for certain kinds of work.

"I am made for making films, I am made to act. I am made to produce films. This is what I will do and I still haven't achieved 10 per cent of what I can," said the actor.

"I am just going to do my job and my public service is to make sure that I can say thank you to a lot of people through my work, make a lot of people smile for two and a half hours in a dark room. I want people to be entertained," said Khan.

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