At a time when National Award-winning artists are returning their government awards and honours to protest impediments to freedom of speech and expression in India, superstar Shah Rukh Khan says he will not be returning his Padma Shri or other honours.
The actor, who has given blockbusters like “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” and “Devdas”, was honoured with Padma Shri in 2005.
In an interview with India Today, the “Chennai Express” star, who turned 50 on Monday, said: “The country is becoming increasingly intolerant. Respect those who returned government awards, but (I) won’t return mine.”
Film fraternity members like Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan, Paresh Kamdar and Harishchandra Thorat have returned their awards, also in support of the students from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, who are protesting the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chairman.