Veteran actor Om Puri celebrated his birthday on Tuesday by seeking forgiveness and expressing regret for his derogatory statement against Indian soldiers.
The actor visited the Etawah house of Nitin Yadav, a BSF soldier who was martyred in the Baramulla attack on 2 October, and paid his condolences to the martyr's family.
Apologising to them for his recent comments on Indian martyrs, the actor even performed a ‘shuddhi yajna’ to seek forgiveness for his words.
Puri reportedly broke down before the soldier's photograph and cried for long repeatedly saying 'maafi' (unforgiveness).
According to The Hindustan Times, Puri said to the family, “My comments are beyond forgiveness. Had I uttered those words in any other country I would have been executed. I seek forgiveness and request you to accept me as a part of your family.”
The martyr's father Balbir Yadav said that they have accepted his apologies and forgiven him.
Quint reports that Om Puri had not informed the media yet 400 people had arrived at the family's house.
"I had only informed the martyred jawan’s family about my visit. They informed the media. By the time I reached the village there were more than 400 people waiting for my arrival. But let me tell you, they had not come to stare at Om Puri the actor. They had come to see what I intended to do in the way of my penance."
The actor felt that this was his best birthday and this incident helped him connect with the jawan's family feeling their pain even after leaving their home.
While on a live television debate about the ban on Pakistani artistes in Bollywood, the Padma Shri awardee had quite controversially uttered, "Did we force them to join the army? My father was also in the army... We are proud of them (soldiers)... I am asking you: Do you want India and Pakistan to become Israel and Palestine?"
He later regretted his words and had said that he would repent in some constructive ways. By visiting the martyr's family Puri stuck to his earlier promise that he would personally apologising to them.