The couple is not new to controversies. When Saif and Kareena tied the knot in 2012, it was labeled as ‘Love Jihad’. A lot of protests happened thereafter. Now four years after their marriage, when they have been blessed with a cute baby boy, protests revolving around the christening of their baby as Taimur Ali Khan are in a rage.
Two years after their marriage, Saif Ali Khan had penned down an open letter published in Indian Express. This open letter by Saif Ali Khan presented forth his opinions on religion, intermarriage and love jihad.
Taimur controversy: The Open Letter by Saif Ali Khan
An excerpt on ‘Love Jihad’:
“We follow whatever religion or spiritual practice we believe in. I have prayed in church and attended mass with Kareena, while she has bowed her head at dargahs and prayed in mosques. I don’t know what “love jihad” is. It is a complication created in India. I know intermarriages because I am a child of one and my children are born out of it. Intermarriage is not jihad. Intermarriage is India. India is a mix.”
An excerpt on the secularism of ‘Pataudis’:
It wasn’t peacefully accepted by anyone, initially, when my parents wanted to marry. The royals had their issues; the Brahmins theirs. And, of course, extremists on both religious sides issued death threats. But the marriage still happened — the fact that my grandmother also had to fight to marry the not-as-wealthy and therefore not-so-suitable nawab of Pataudi might have helped things along. We grew up on real-life romantic stories about our elders marrying for love and not worrying too much about tradition.”
An excerpt on religion:
“Ambedkar said the only way to annihilate caste is intermarriage. It is only through intermarriage that the real Indians of tomorrow can be truly equipped to take our nation forward with the right perspective. It is sad that too much importance is given to religion, and not enough to humanity and love. My children were born Muslim but they live like Hindus (with a pooja ghar at home).”
An excerpt on the India he wants:
“We are a blend, this great country of ours. It is our differences that make us who we are. We need to get beyond mere tolerance. We need to accept and respect and love each other. I think we should have one law for all Indians, a uniform civil code, and we should all think of ourselves as one nation. All our religions must come later and be by the way. Teach our children about god and his thousand names, but first we must teach them respect and love of their fellow man.”
His final word:
“I stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy first, then Santa Claus, and finally, I really don’t know what I feel about a personal god. But I believe in love and in trying to be good and helping the world. I don’t always succeed and then I feel bad. My conscience is my god, I think, and it tells me that that one tree in Pataudi near which my father is buried is closer to god than any temple, church or mosque.”