Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s appointment as the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian contingent at the 2016 Rio Olympics by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has led to a huge controversy. Milkha Singh, one of the country’s legendary athletes, was visibly upset at this.
‘The Flying Sikh’ got vocal against the IOA’s decision as he questioned “the need to import a person from Bollywood” as the Goodwill Ambassador, rather than a sportsperson like PT Usha, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore or Ajit Pal.
On Monday, Salman Khan’s father and veteran actor Salim Khan hit back at Milkha Singh’s comments and stated that the four-time Asian Games gold medallist shouldn’t criticise the Indian film industry, as the industry earned him the popularity once again after decades. The 80-year-old drew reference from the athlete’s biopic ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, starring Farhan Akhtar.
“The same industry which resurrected you from fading away in oblivion [sic]”, tweeted Salim Khan.
On Tuesday, Milkha Singh reverted to Salim Khan’s statements and insisted once more that Salman Khan shouldn’t have been awarded the ambassadorial role. “I have said that people who have won laurels for the country should go and not Salman Khan,” ‘The Flying Sikh’ told Times Now.
He also added that the Indian film industry may think they have done a huge favour to him after releasing a biopic, but he doesn’t share the sentiments. “They think that by making a movie on Milkha Singh, they have done me a favour, [but] I do not agree to this,” Milkha Singh said.