Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, under fire from the Shiv Sena for favouring Pakistani players in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said Saturday he had been misunderstood and he had nothing against meeting Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.
After being defiant for days, Shah Rukh made the conciliatory remarks - "If he (Bal Thackeray) wants me to meet him, I will do that" - when he returned from London and was mobbed at the airport by the media seeking his reaction to the Shiv Sena's tirade against him.
The Shiv Sena has threatened to ban his upcoming release, My Name Is Khan, in Mumbai theatres for his remarks and sought an apology from him. Posters and banners of the movie have been torn.
"I have been misunderstood. Let's talk it out. I haven't said anything wrong. I have said what every Indian would have. Today what I am is because of Mumbai. Mumbai has given me everything, my nation has given me everything," Shah Rukh said at the airport.
"How can I belong to any other nation?," he added.
Asked if he would go and meet Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray over the issue, Shah Rukh said: "I enjoy Bala Saheb-ji's company. He is a senior leader. I have been at his place many times, and if he wants me to meet him, I will do that."
Earlier, Shah Rukh and Kajol came out of the airport separately. Shah Rukh was accompanied by a posse of police personnel and his own private guards, an airport official said.
The duo had gone to the US and Britain for the pre-release promotion of Karan Johar's My Name Is Khan.
Some 500 security personnel, besides nearly 50 of Shah Rukh's private guards, were at the airport. Director Johar left the airport separately.
Shah Rukh's vehicle was accompanied by two police vehicles from the airport to his bungalow 'Mannat,' facing the Arabian Sea in Bandra West - a distance of around 12 km.
The Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Police have promised to provide full security to theatres and multiplexes where My Name Is Khan would be screened.
Shah Rukh owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team of IPL.