After Saif Ali Khan’s ‘no concept of India before British’ remark, BJP leader says ‘some people named their children Taimur’
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After Saif Ali Khan’s ‘no concept of India before British’ remark, BJP leader says ‘some people named their children Taimur’

Actor Saif Ali Khan has been attacked for recent comments in which he suggested that the concept of India was defined by the British, and calling out Tanhaji’s inaccurate depiction of history.

Actor Saif Ali Khan is facing backlash after suggesting in a recent interview that the concept of India was defined by the British. Saif was speaking to Film Companion about his recent period epic, Tanhaji, when he said that he found the film’s historical inaccuracy to be ‘dangerous’.

“For some reason I didn’t take a stand… maybe next time I would,” Saif said, defending his decision to star in the film, adding, “I was very excited to play the role because it’s a delicious role. But when people say this is history; I don’t think this is history. I am quite aware of what the history was.”

Tanhaji propagates the idea of Swaraj as early as the 17th century. “I don’t think there was a concept of India till perhaps the British gave it one. I don’t think there is really any constructive point in arguing about loudly, provided you yourself know why you’re doing it,” Saif continued.

Reacting to his comments, several people took to Twitter to offer a rebuttal. MP and BJP spokesperson, Meenakshi Lekhi, wrote, “Even Turks find Taimur a brute! But some people choose to name their children Taimur.”

Writer Tarek Fatah wrote, “Bollywood ‘history buff’ #SaifAliKhan claims “there was no concept of ‘India’ until the British came. Yeah right. French East India Company was about China & Vasco D’Gama went to Fiji. Last time he invoked he invoked ‘history’ he named his son Timur.”

Several others reacted harshly to Saif’s comments. Here are some more reactions.

Saif plays the mercenary Udaybhan in Tanhaji, opposite Ajay Devgn’s warrior Tanaji. Regardless of his comments the film has turned out to be his biggest hit, at a time when the actor hasn’t delivered a commercially successful theatrical release in a while. The film is on its way to hitting the Rs 200 crore mark at the box office. Saif will next be seen in Jawaani Jaaneman.