By Nivedita 

Madrid, June 24: Superstar Salman Khan, who is here for a Bollywood extravaganza, chose to exercise caution while addressing a gathering and said it is better if he talks less. He, however, did not extend any apology for his “raped woman” comment which stirred up a controversy.

At a press conference to mark the opening of the 17th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards here on Thursday, the “Kick” star took the stage to talk about his association with the four-day gala.

The actor said: “I know it has been a long evening, So I will make it short, quick.”

“…The shorter I keep (the speech), the better it is.”

“Slumdog Millionaire” star Freida Pinto, who is also here for the IIFA celebrations, says celebrities must be responsible in their words and actions, when asked to comment in the wake of Salman Khan’s “raped woman” comment.

Without taking any names, she said: “A lot. I think it’s that important that you start feeling the burden. You might want to say something that is actually not in the negative light… Responsibilities also come with consequences.. right.”

Salman courted controversy after he said during a media interaction that he felt like a “raped woman” walking out of a ring while shooting for his role as a wrestler in his upcoming film “Sultan”.

He later said, “I don’t think I should have” and explained that he found it hard to walk.

The National Commission for Women and the Shiv Sena have demanded an apology from Salman for his remark, but the actor has not addressed the issue yet. However, his father and veteran writer Salim Khan came forward and apologised on his behalf.

Salim Khan contended that Salman meant no wrong when he said he felt like a “raped woman”.

Salman, whose journey in filmdom began with “Biwi Ho To Aisi” in 1988, and who came into the limelight following his act as Prem in the endearing love saga “Maine Pyar Kiya” in 1989, is one of the biggest box office draws in the country.

Salman is no stranger to controversies, be it the infamous 2002 hit-and-run case or the Blackbuck hunting case.

More recently, Salman stirred a hornet’s nest by opposing the death penalty for 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon in 2015. He retracted the tweet later on.

He also faced flak when he was named the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics to be held later this year.

The “Dabangg” star was seen in his best humourous side while talking to his fellow colleagues from the industry here. He was even seen sharing jokes with actors like Shahid Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone.

The actor, who is going to perform at the awards night of the IIFA celebrations, credits Spain for the person he is now.

“This is my second time in Spain. But today whoever I am, whatever my position is because of a Spanish man. He was a father figure to me. He was my school principal. He is no more but we absolutely loved him in school,” said Salman, who arrived in Madrid with his mother Salma Khan.

The four-day gala will conclude with a colourful and exuberant awards ceremony on Sunday.

(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of the IIFA organisers.)

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