Irrfan Ali Khan
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Irrfan Khan: 'We don't get respect abroad'

New Delhi, Jan. 20 -- Maverick actor Irrfan Khan may be a global name to reckon with, thanks to his work in Hollywood, but the 47-year-old feels that Indians don't get the respect they deserve, abroad.

Speaking at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival, Irrfan made no attempt to sugarcoat his words, when he said, "India ka wajood bahar aisa kuch khaas nahin hai. Apko izzat nahi milti (You don't get respect). While here, we keep saying 'Saare jahan se achcha Hindustan humara', the truth is that our existence is not worth talking about in the West, be it in terms of Bollywood or otherwise." Stressing that people in the West know little about India or Indians, he added, "People abroad are curious about us and they want to invest here, but they don't know much about us."    

Also, taking a dig at the present generation of filmmakers, he said that the films are not connected to reality and are only made for money. "People like Govind Nihalani had the courage to make realistic movies like Aakrosh. That generation of filmmakers was not worried much about the box office," he said.    

Irrfan, who got rave reviews for his role in The Lunchbox (2013), may be considered for film awards this year. Asked if he thinks he will win some of them, he said, "See, there are no awards in the film industry that change your market value, except for the Oscars. Ye award (Oscar) kisi bhi actor ko miley to zindagi badal jaati hai."    

He further added, "The standard set for Oscar nomination has been maintained through the years. It's not like 5-7 people just select someone."    

Irrfan, who often portrays the common man in movies, hails the Delhi-based Aam Aadmi Party, calling their rise to power a much-needed change. "Change ki jo ichcha hai is wajah se party ko itna response mila hai. We wish aise log aaye, kaam kare and system ko badle. (The wish to bring a change has resulted in the party getting such a bumper response. We wish such people come to power and change the system)."    

So, will he ever contest elections? "No," he says. "I won't fight elections ever. For me, my career has just begun as an actor. I'm not inclined towards politics and don't have any knowledge about the field," he said.

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