Indian superstar Aamir Khan says wife suggested moving out of the country to avoid intolerance

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      In India, Aamir Khan has redefined the word megastar.

      With three of the Top 5 grossing films in Hindi movie history (PK, Dhoom 3, and 3 Idiots), Khan's fame has spread around the world.

      So it's big news in South Asia when someone of this magnitude disses the country.

      But today, Khan has created national headlines by expressing alarm about the growth of intolerance in his country.

      Speaking here at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Khan said insecurity and fear has grown over the past six or eight months, according to a story in the Hindu newspaper.

      His wife, Kiran Rao, has even raised the prospect of moving the family out of India.

      "That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make," Khan reportedly said. "She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day."

      Khan is one of India's best known Muslims and his wife is Hindu.

      PK, which was the top-grossing Hindu film of all time, was a critique of religious bigotry.

      Meanwhile, a growing number of Indian scientists, filmmakers, and writers have been returning awards to protest growing Hindu nationalism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

      Khan expressed support for these actions.

      "For creative people, one of the ways of expressing their dissatisfaction or their disappointment is to return their awards," he said. "I think that’s one way of getting your point across."

      Georgia Straight contributor Gurpreet Singh has frequently written about how people have suffered in India as a result of religious communalism fomented by Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh extremists.

      In a lengthy article earlier this month, he noted that it seems to be on the rise again.

      "Under the current Modi government, Hindu extremists have become so emboldened that they openly ask for installation of statues of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, who is considered the father of the Indian nation," Singh wrote. 

      Later in the article, Singh added: "The Indian state has failed to recognize this campaign as an act of sedition."

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