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.”
Even Turks find Taimur a brute ! But some people choose to name their children Taimur . https://t.co/T9xX5qihAw— Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) January 19, 2020
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.”
Bollywood ‘history buff’ #SaifAliKhan claims “there was no concept of ‘India’ until the British came.”— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) January 19, 2020
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.
Unlike Dumbo Deepika, #SaifAliKhan waited for #Tanhaji to become a hit before revealing his ugly face— Archie (@archu243) January 19, 2020
Another radical izlamist exposes his bigotry
Taimur Ali Khan ke abba se yehi umeed thi 😖pic.twitter.com/eweImKene1
“Don’t think there was a concept of India till the British gave it one,” says #SaifAliKhan. There in fact was no concept of Britain till 1707 when England & Scotland formed a union called United Kingdom — 107 years after East India Company was incorporated https://t.co/CljEhkhBLy— Minhaz Merchant (@MinhazMerchant) January 20, 2020
Yes, #SaifAliKhan is right. The concept of India was forced by Britishers who rules us. It was earlier BharatVarsh, which has a great history associated with the Great Ashoka.— Naren Charan (@NarenCharan) January 20, 2020
Some people just want to be politically correct, not historical correct. Shame!! pic.twitter.com/Irbs7h7YY2
This is d most hypocritical reaction from HFIndustry. Worse than open liberals who atleast practice what they preach.#SaifAliKhan works in d movie Tanhaji, gets success & mocks d moviemakers' viewpoint.— Mona Sharma (@MonaSharmapr) January 19, 2020
Also, there was no concept of India b4 British came. LOL. Dumbo! https://t.co/ty7AwBxtm3
Lo & behold our newest Historian, #SaifAliKhan! The question is who was his history teacher?Could it be Timur?please🤷🏽♀️😅 I meant the Turk-Mongol Conquerer who massacred, converted…Ever heard of Alexander or Columbus Sir? 😄— MALAVIKA AVINASH (@MALAVIKAAVINASH) January 20, 2020
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.