Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Shah Rukh Khan sees no reason to apologise

By Mandeep Sanghera
BBC Asian Network

Shah Rukh Khan
Bollywood star Khan owns IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has stood firm over expressing his disappointment that no Pakistan cricketers were picked for the 2010 Indian Premier League.

Khan owns IPL cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders and his comments angered Hindu hardline party Shiv Sena.

The party subsequently tried to disrupt showings of the actor's new film My Name is Khan in Mumbai (Bombay).

"I have no idea what I am supposed to apologise for," said Khan. His film is due for global release on 12 February.

"If I am in wrong I would like to apologise but someone needs to explain to me what is wrong," he told reporters in London.

"So many people's futures rely on (My Name is Khan). I just request everybody to leave the film alone and deal with what I have said as an individual."

Effigies of Shah Rukh Khan have been burned in India
Effigies of Shah Rukh Khan have been burned in India

Effigies of Khan have been burned in India and he has apologised to those associated with the making of My Name is Khan.

"I won't comment on this on a larger scale because it's not nice for a Hindi film hero who is thought of as a hero to say this, but it scares me to say anything now because the stakes are very high," he added.

"I am sorry to director Karan Johar and actress Kajol. I'm also immensely sorry to all the other business partners that - because of what I say and believe in - the film and their work is going to be affected. I have no idea how to change that."

My Name is Khan is about an Indian Muslim man with Asperger's syndrome, whose life in the United States changes after the 11 September terror attacks.

Khan said: "When a film is normally released you are tense but you are highly excited and, strangely, that is the excitement I work for.

"I'm very happy when a film is about to be released. I am very happy about taking my film to the world and interacting with the audiences but I'm very sad right now as this is a very special film.

"I've no idea why there is so much confusion about what I've said and, if you have differences in ideology, why should that not be allowed?"

The lucrative eight-team IPL Twenty20 competition will start on 12 March and is staged over 45 days.

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