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October 19, 2001

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'I wish Bush and Osama Bin Laden see Asoka'

Onkar Singh

The noted film actor Shah Rukh Khan said that neither terrorism nor war gains anything by killing innocent people. He said this while addressing a news conference in New Delhi on Friday.Shah Rukh Khan in Asoka

Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and noted film personality Aziz Mirza were in the capital for the promotion of their forthcoming mega movie Asoka.

"At a time when the US and its allies are fighting a war against terrorism in Afghanistan, I wish that both President of USA George Bush and Osama bin Laden see the film Asoka. Terrorism and War are futile exercises as innocents are killed either way. What did great Asoka gain by winning the battle of Kalinga and killing hundreds and thousands of innocent soldiers for his own personal gain," Khan stated.

He recalled that he was very much in New York when the attacks on the World Trade Centre took place.

"I was planning what I would do the next day. But within matter of minutes the whole scene changed. Instances like this make you realize that there is no other power besides God," he said.

"The film ends with the battle of Kalinga where Asoka embraces Buddhism. But where the film ends, Asoka's life begins. There are legends and myths about his personality. We have mixed both to make this mega venture a commercial success," he said.

According to him the film was earlier scheduled to be released in April this year. But by coincidence he was delayed.

"The relevance of the film is greater today then ever before. After Razia Sultan, no film producer had the guts to make a historical film. We have taken up this task and we hope that the audience would like it," he added.

When asked why she did not act in the film, Juhi Chawla said that she did not fit into the scheme of things for director Santosh Sivan.Shah Rukh Khan in Asoka

"We did not impose anything on our director and gave him a free hand to do what he wanted. Sivan had talked to lot of other actors before he cast me in this film. Initially this was meant to be a small budget film but with the passage of time its budget grew. But we decided to go ahead with the venture", says Shah Rukh.

"The film would be of special significance to Buddhist nations like Japan, China, Sri Lanka etc. We hope it would do well in India as well," he concluded.

Amen.

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