Saif Ali Khan was once accused of buying a Padma Shri. The actor, who was conferred with the fourth highest Indian civilian award in 2010, refuted the allegation and said that it was ‘beyond’ him to bribe the government of India.
On Arbaaz Khan’s chat show, Pinch, Saif was reading a troll comment, which called him a ‘two-bit thug who bought a Padma Shri, named his son Taimur, beat up some people in a restaurant’. The troll also questioned him getting the lead role in Sacred Games, saying that he could ‘hardly act’.
“So, two-bit thug, I am not. Everything else is true,” Saif joked. On a more serious note, he added that it is ‘not possible’ for him to have bought a Padma Shri. “I mean, it’s a bit beyond me to bribe the Indian government. You will have to ask more senior people,” he said in the interview, which is from 2019.
Initially, Saif did not want to accept the Padma Shri, he revealed, as he felt that there were others in the film industry who were more worthy of the honour. “There were so many senior actors who hadn’t got one and it was very embarrassing. Of course, there are some people who have it, who I feel deserve it less than me also. At least, at that time. But we won’t get into that,” he said.
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While Saif wanted to return the Padma Shri, he changed his mind because of something his father, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, told him — that he was not in a position to ‘refuse the Indian government’. He added that with time, he hopes to justify the honour bestowed upon him.
“I look at it in a way that I hope in time…cause I’m not done yet and I’m enjoying acting. I’m doing fairly well and I’m happy with what is happening. I hope in time, when I look back and people look at it, they will say, ‘Okay, I think he deserves an honour for the work he has done,'” he said.
Saif will be seen next in Bunty Aur Babli 2, alongside Rani Mukerji, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sharvari Wagh. The film is scheduled to release on April 23. He also has Bhoot Police and Adipurush in the pipeline.