Shah Rukh Khan may have been excluded from PM designate Narendra Modi's list of invitees for the latter’s oath taking ceremony in the national capital on Monday — invites have been sent to other film industry dignitaries like Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar, Rajinikanth and Salman Khan — but the actor is cool about it.
In fact, he says that he wishes the new government well for the landslide victory and believes that, now, the chances of positive change are immense. "What a mandate! Exceptional!" exclaims the actor about the recent Lok Sabha election results, speaking to us over the phone.
"This is clearly a sign of our times where people have decided not for a party, but for a stable government. It gives a lot of reason and power to change things," he says, adding that a government formed with allies is unstable. "It’s difficult to take solo and solid decisions (in a coalition government). So if you’re with the left, you can’t take a capitalist decision. If you have the strength of numbers, then nobody can question that ... now decisions have to be taken, things have to change," he says.
The actor believes that India is already on the verge of becoming a big power with a stable government emerging from such a solid mandate is really a big leap forward. "There is no excuse for the country to not go forward now. Decisions have to be taken and things have to change," he asserts.
"I’m extremely apolitical, but I know people don’t believe it. They have issues with this. But I have my views on friendships and that’s totally separate," he reasons, perhaps hinting at his friendship with the Gandhis.
Shah Rukh also says that he doesn’t have any specific expectations from the new government, but wants an atmosphere of overall well-being. "The country should change from within and from the outside. While we should have a fantastic international face and front, we also ought to have a sense of comfort within the country. And if larger issues get sorted, our film industry will follow suit."