London, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan pitched for greater harmony among South Asian people as he accepted an honorary doctorate from a British university, saying governments were best left to their own “agendas”.
“We belong to – I know it’s a bit of a cliche but – one world. Specifically I think, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka� all of us, we’re the same. I really believe we are the same,” Khan told journalists after being made honorary Doctor of Arts by Bedfordshire University Friday.
The doctorate in recognition of his “exceptional achievement as a film actor and producer”, was proposed by an Indian NGO called Routes 2 Roots, which works to bring South Asians together.
“My mother is from Hyderabad in India and father is from Peshawar (in Pakistan). So I do believe in this (cultural unity).
“Especially when you come away from India or Pakistan you realise there is no Indian or Pakistani�we’re all together. We are – culturally, as human beings, as friends. These are the aspects that keep us together.
“As far as the (government) agendas are concerned, let them go on.”
Invited by a Pakistani journalist to visit Pakistan, said: “I also do wish to go there – my family’s there.”
Earlier, in his acceptance speech, Khan said he was inspired by the doctorate to work for the education of poor children in India.
“While this honour is bestowed on me, I wonder if the deserving but poor and underprivileged children from India can also pursue their higher education in such universities and maybe earn a doctorate as well.
“This thought has been weighing heavily on my mind and I am hopeful that I would be able to contribute to this cause in the future,” he added.