Saifai: Salman Khan says he was doing his job
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has parried questions by critics over his presence and participation in the Uttar Pradesh government's cultural event Saifai Mahotsav when Muzaffarnagar riot victims are living in pitiable conditions in relief camps, saying he was doing his job.
Speaking to NDTV, Salman said that he has no regrets for performing in Saifai and only the Uttar Pradesh government should be questioned for the controversial festival.
On being asked about his performance in the state hit by Muzaffaranagar riots and over the UP government's negligence, he told the channel that, "I didn't know that...it is the government's thing...that is nothing to do with us."
"We as actors, we are supposed to entertain them," said the actor who had performed at the Saifai festival.
He said people can blame actors when no one turns up for the show or the concert but there was 2.5 lakhs turning up for the Saifai and according to him "they were having a blast out there."
He said the people were earning bread and butter there.
"It's every easy to fool the common man by showing us dancing there and people dying... it will look that how insensitive he is," said an agitated Salman.
"But the fact was we were not aware of that (sufferings of Muzaffaranagar riot victims)...and that is something you should ask the government," he said.
He further said that when media can cover natural calamities and rapes for the sake of TRPs, then "how can you stop us," said the actor who is also a social philanthropist.
Salman said that if something similar happens in Mumbai and he is caught interviewing with a channel, rival channels would also blast him.
He said that the life of the people in Lucknow has not stopped, they have not refrained themselves from watching films in the theatres and similarly he has also done his part of the job.
He said that media also go to these places to cover events. "So when we go there we are rammed?" asked the actor.
Salman earlier posted on his Facebook page, "Whenever I visit a place for a performance or a promotion, I see it as an opportunity to help the locals in the areas of healthcare or education. In Nagpur, on Sunday, Being Human pledged to fund 100 paediatric cardiac cases in Maharashtra State."
The superstar had said that in Etawah, his NGO brand Being Human, on behalf of all artists who performed on Wednesday, has committed to fund 200 paediatric heart surgeries in UP.
"And in Etawah, Being Human, on behalf of all artists who performed yesterday, has committed to fund 200 paediatric heart surgeries in UP (there is already a wait list of 81 children we have received who are being moved to Fortis Hospital Gurgaon and their surgeries will get done by month end and Being Human is in touch with local NGOs and hospitals for their lists also)," Khan, who had performed at the event, said.
The actor has contributed Rs 25 lakh to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College & Hospital in the state.
"We have also contributed Rs 25 lakh to the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College & Hospital for the purchase of an Echo Machine, Pediatric & neo natal ventilator and a portable X-ray machine for their paediatric cardiac ICU," he said in his post.
Several other Bollywood stars, including Madhuri Dixit Nene, performed at the event here after being invited by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Music directors Sajid-Wajid also gave a performance on the occasion.
(Posted on 12-01-2014)