From the ashes rises the Phoenix.   

I am here in Chennai to meet Shridhar for the last time. Went to his house last night to meet his family who are in shock and grief. As he lay in the centre of the gathering he looked peaceful, almost as if he were just asleep. I met his parents, brothers, wife and sons who were all very dignified in their moment of deep pain.

Shridhar was one of the finest technicians of our industry and a dear friend. We have worked together a number of times, and very closely during Lagaan. He did the final mix of the film, which is the last and most crucial creative process in film making. A close associate of A.R., he has worked together with him on a majority of his songs and background scores. In fact he was in A.R.ís studio until 4am yesterday morning working with A.R. and Murgadoss on our film. By around 8.30am he had passed away in his sleep.

The sudden news of his most untimely death came to me yesterday morning when I was still trying to pull myself out of the depressive state of mind I had slid into post the attacks on Mumbai. It left me shattered.

As I had expected various politicians have tried to use this traumatic and tragic attack to their advantage. I only hope that people see through them this time.

Quite clearly both the major political parties have failed to tackle terrorism. There have been repeated attacks on us during both their reigns which neither has been able to either anticipate or deal with well. While what happened in Mumbai recently clearly exposes the incompetence of the Congress, the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight 814 during the BJP rule shows them in even worse light. They actually NEGOTIATED with the terrorists and RELEASED 3 dreaded terrorists from Indian jails. All the 5 hijackers and the 3 terrorists released from India by the then BJP government were allowed to escape to attack us another day.

I think the first lesson to learn from this is that we MUST NOT NEGOTIATE. No matter what, the next time round around, and lets not fool ourselves we must be alert and prepared for more attacks, we MUST NOT NEGOTIATE. All potential terrorists must get a very clear message that INDIA DOES NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS. What that means is, that in the future if there is a situation where me or my kids are held hostage by a bunch of terrorists then I must be prepared to tell our government - to hell with me and my children just go in there and kill the terrorists. I am prepared to sacrifice myself and my loved ones for the larger safety and security of the country but DO NOT LISTEN TO AND NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS.

I personally hold both these political parties, and in fact other regional political parties across the country, responsible in one way or the other, for fueling terrorism in the first place. And please remember that the definition of terrorism is not restricted to AK 47 toting maniacs. It includes the spread of terror by other means like stone throwing, beating up of innocent people on the roads, and rioting, etc. Any means, in fact, to spread terror in the hearts of ordinary citizens.

The other important thing we need to remind ourselves in this time of anger and hurt is to stay calm and take sensible steps, and not give in to thoughtless knee jerk reactions. I heard someone say on television that we should all stop paying our taxes as a show of protest. Havenít heard of a more silly idea than that. If we stop paying our taxes then we wonít have an army and NSG to save us next time around!!! Instead we should all START PAYING OUR TAXES. We demand so much of our leaders but are we fulfilling our basic responsibility? Can we say with honesty that as citizens of our country we are all honestly paying our taxes? If we are not paying our taxes can we blame the government for being inefficient? If we are corrupt then how can we expect our politicians to be honest?

I have a very important thing to say to all the various people going around arbitrarily throwing accusations at the politicians. These politicians are not from Jupiter or Mars, they are one of us, from our very own society, selected by us through a democratic process. So now think for a moment, who really is to blame? We can only blame ourselves guys. Half of us donít go to vote. The half that does vote has selected these guys.

In my opinion, you really want to change things? Change yourself. Each one of us needs to take a very honest look inwards and rectify and work on what we think is wrong with us. If each one of us does that individually then there will be a sea change in our society at large. I have to promise myself that I will not be corrupt, will play my role in society with honesty and sincerity. Doctors, lawyers, judges, people in the IAS, police force, media persons, businessmen, job workers, labour force, everyone. We have to stop thinking of our own individual gain and loss and do what is honest, true and right, and think collective. It calls for personal sacrifice in this time of chaos but from chaos will emerge clarity. Even if we donít manage to achieve this for ourselves we will achieve it for our children.

What I would really like to see emerge from all this is the youth of this country starting a political party. A group that stands for strong, clean, honest and fresh leadership. A group that we can all support.

And finally, if we really want to make sure that terrorists fail in achieving their end, then these terror attacks should not take us towards hate but instead towards love. If we react with hate we are succumbing to these terror attacks, and if we react with increasing love and peace in our hearts then we squarely defeat the terrorists. Allowing love, peace and trust to grow within us is not a sign of weakness but a sign of immense strength.

With appreciation and gratitude to the security forces who acted with courage, and with a prayer in my heart for those departed.


Posted by Aamir Khan at 08:31 PM
1685 Comments  Post Comment Aamir's Responses
1675. priyadarshiwiz
Posted on Feb,25,2009 at 11:46 PM
Thanks you, Aamir.

1674. tittleiota
Posted on Feb,21,2009 at 01:55 PM
Aamir, you have spoken my heart and mind out ... that is exactly
what we as people should do in all circumstances of our lives,
whether the terror comes to us as individuals or as a society...
The best thing we can do to tackle with such acts of terrorism is
really to resist the things it urges us to do in frustration,
namely gettin more mad and insane and startin to blame and
victimise the innocents as they are an easy catch for us... stand
up against the evil-doers who dare to spread thier wings, they
are the ones havin no right to live.... so kill them through
cuttin their means of terrorising...

Sidrah Zaheer,

1673. nehabhatia
Posted on Feb,20,2009 at 06:06 PM
nice article but I think differently:)
its government that set examples in a nation & not vice
versa...though I agree that each one of us need to be more
responsible citizens

1672. Milin
Posted on Feb,11,2009 at 05:17 AM
Hi Aamir,

This is an article which each n every indian should read and
understand..I really can feel each n every word of it...I as an
Indian will try whatever i can to make INDIA A BETTER PLACE to
live in...

Thanks for everything Aamir..

1671. shahrav
Posted on Feb,10,2009 at 04:40 PM
hi aamir this is sharang here its a good way to reach out to
common people like us and share ur experiences with us and hoping
to get a reply frm u sooner or later and all da best for ur
upcoming film 3idiots

1670. amritadasgupta
Posted on Feb,06,2009 at 04:51 AM
Dear Aamir,
I am not a Gandhian but i believe in what he said "Be the change
that you want to see". The solutions to a nations problems cannot
lie with the government alone, though yes they are an integral
part. I so agree with all that you say, but before we blame them
how much have we as individuals done to play our parts? It
requires a lot of courage and honesty to do the right thing. I am
a student here in London. I meet a lot of Indians here who have
come seeking greener pastures. I try to convince them to go back
to do their bit, but its difficult. The complains remain the
same. It is easy to blame the government, but if we all were
honest and did our own part right, others would eventually fall
into step and change would begin to roll ... I wish this
education, knowledge and intelligence could be concentrated for a
better India. Goodness is a matter of choice!

1669. ibmwaseem
Posted on Feb,05,2009 at 06:07 PM
How did Aamir khan develop such a muscular body?
Pragya (Age 7 year): he was suffering from memory loss, so he
used to exercise and forgot that he has exercised and he did it
all over again.... :)

1668. Chanduhonest
Posted on Feb,04,2009 at 05:02 AM
Hey Aamir ji
everything you said on negotiation is very true so it's very hard
to achieve.

1667. indrakamal
Posted on Jan,29,2009 at 02:52 AM
I sincerely believe you should open a political party where
members will be chosen on merit like their education,contribution
to society....and the first rule should be that anyone found
corrupt will be dealt severely by the party itself,believe me
Aamir I as a physician will be the first to join up....IK

1666. jasmine123
Posted on Jan,19,2009 at 09:34 PM
We stay a stone's throw away from where you are now..
And yet we cannot meet you..
How fortunate are we?
The guards stand around all set to pounce on us
We hope..and meet you..
Go away..for hope now causes nothng but trauma..
Return to your world..and dont let us chase a shadow...
Remember your character last? There's a flaw..How could you
remember to see all those flash cards? Would you not throw them
away had you really lost your memory?..How come you were not
Do you care? And lets say do you'll respond..else just
another comment - that you'll meet everyone etc..another false
word...the world's full of words..all empty...just that....

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