Tuesday, 7 October 2014

'We must stop being paranoid as Muslims...'

Sprawling comfortably in Room 301 of the Cricket Club of India at Churchgate, Saif Ali Khan turns nostalgic. "Coming to this club is like coming home," he says.

Examining the art on the walls, he points out that they are unchanged from his father, cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi's time. "My father would get me along with him. I'd just hang out and watch the players. I was really young and it was inspiring to watch them" he reminisces. It's Eid but the actor-producer hasn't come down to SoBo from Bandra to sample some sheer khurma and biriyani. It is to announce his association with the Olympic Gold Quest, an organisation started by billiards ace Geet Sethi and badminton champ Prakash Padukone to identify and back athletes who have the potential of winning at the Olympics. "I've pledged Rs 20 lakh for now and will continue to contribute every year as long as I can afford it," says Saif.

He adds that for a while now he has felt a sense of social responsibility but didn't know how to channelize it. Sipping his coffee he says, "The distribution of wealth in our country is imbalanced, perhaps because India is so incredibly complex. The government tries to take care of our sports stars but it's not their priority. As a privileged Indian, it's my duty to take care of the less privileged."

Ask him which branch of sport he will be supporting and he surprises you by saying, "I'm passionate about rifle shooting." He then hastens to add, "I'm yet to take a final call."

Interestingly, despite the success of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Mary Kom, Saif isn't eager want to produce sports-centric films. "The main purpose of cinema is to entertain. While such films can be entertaining, I don't think they should be made with the intention of spreading awareness. At the end of the day it's a film and not an NGO," he reasons.

READ: Saif Ali Khan takes RK's date

About his much-talked about split with long-time partner and co-producer Dinesh Vijan, Saif says that things are fine between the two. "We are not Siamese twins joined at the hip and we don't have to be together all the time. My production house Illuminati is hale and hearty. But he's a grown-up guy with a lot of great ideas about cinema and he's free to work on them separately. That's healthy," he explains. What about the reincarnation drama he was to do with Parineeti Chopra which Dinesh was to direct? "It's not happening as of now, but I'm sure something nice will come along soon," he smiles optimistically.

When asked if after acting and producing, politics is the next step, Saif shakes his head vehemently. "Politics is a game I don't want to play. After a long time, we have a government at the centre which came to power with a thumping majority. We must stop being paranoid as Muslims, fearing that Narendra Modi will turn into a monster. I don't think he will," Saif asserts. "He is a great leader who has proven himself and I'd like to see him achieve the rest of his goals," he concludes.

WATCH: Kareena Kapoor - Saif Ali Khan to spend second anniversary at Brangelina's wedding venue - TOI

Stay updated on the go with The Times of India’s mobile apps. Click here to download it for your device.



Post a Comment