Is Shahrukh Khan being mistreated as a minority citizen in India?

Tue, January 29, 2013 10:58am UTC by 21 Comments
Is Shahrukh Khan being mistreated as a minority citizen in India?

Indian fans wonder why the actor made his recent comments about being a Muslim in India

The surname Khan in Bollywood brings a smile to many faces, since it identifies superstars like Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan), and Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan. And these actors have attained cult status in India and abroad thanks to the eternal love that their Hindu (among others) fans show them. It is very rare to find an Indian think that a sports star, singer, writer, director, painter or actor should be disliked or hated because of their religion. We’re sure the same sentiment is shared by people from Pakistan and other Islamic nations, who show so much affection for Hindu B-towners like Kareena Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan.

Why then is Shahrukh, who has been given so much adulation and affection, feeling left out and victimised for being – of all things – a Muslim? His recent comments to Outlook Turning Points magazine, published in association with The New York Times, leaves us wondering what went wrong.

In an article titled Being a Khan, the actor said, “I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India.” But then he contradicted himself, saying, “So I am a Khan, but no stereotyped image is factored into my idea of who I am. Instead, the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians.”

Maybe, like one journalist said, SRK is going through a midlife crisis. And that’s why there was a battle with a security person at the Wankhede stadium and a brawl with director Shirish Kunder at a party. Or maybe the actor was truly trying to protect his daughter Suhana and himself, in the two separate cases.

But seriously, has Shahrukh – through his growing years in Delhi as a freedom fighter’s son and his struggling years in Mumbai – felt that the people around him were not treating him right just because he was a Muslim? Did someone really call him a ‘terrorist’ here in India? Or was it just insensitive Customs officials at US airports?

Maybe that was the need to make My Name is Khan and emphasise the ‘I am not a terrorist’ line. The actor was probably annoyed ‘cos he shares his name with a wanted terrorist. We get that.

But what bothers us is more fundamental an issue: even after so much success, fame, money and love, does Shahrukh think of himself as a ‘minority’ citizen? Why is he saying he’s given secular names to his half-Hindu, half-Muslim children? What is he afraid of? Is he getting genuine threats from terrorists?

SRK said to Outlook, “There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country – this even though I am an Indian, whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave and return what they refer to my original homeland.”

Yes, there are people from across the border who are giving their unwanted opinion in the matter. Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed wants Shahrukh to settle in Pakistan. Also, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik thinks the actor is born Indian and “would like to remain Indian”. We ask, why shouldn’t SRK remain Indian? Malik added, “I will request the government of India (to) please provide him security. I would like to request all Indian brothers and sisters and all those who are talking in a negative way about Shahrukh, they should know he is a movie star,” Malik said. Thank god for telling us he is a movie star!

Indian Home Secretary RK Singh replied to Malik, saying, “We are capable of looking at the security of our citizens. Let him (Malik) worry about his own.”

It is not a strange coincidence that all this is happening after SRK’s police security was removed recently, after reviewing his behaviour in public and especially with cops. We wonder why Pakistan is pressurising India over the security of a movie star, of all people!

Wethinks that in this situation, King Khan should just relax and not think too much about being a Muslim. After all, he has often said that in his life there is no separation of the religions, Hinduism or Islam, with all gods being worshipped in his home and office alike. And we don’t love you any less or more because you’re a Muslim and not a Hindu, Shahrukh. As for the people who are perhaps intimidating you, leave the rest to Allah…or Vishnu, we say!

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  • Siri Kesri Rao

    Mr. Khan needs to grow up. With the neighbours pointing fingers at India and using the latest complaints of Mr. Khan he has accomplished exactly what he seems to be complaining about. Tells you the IQ level of a leading actor. I mean the vast majority of Indians loved and showered him with stardom and riches and he complains about the minority who don’t like him using the minority card. Someone educate the man that he is enjoying the freedom given to him by the blanket of democracy called mother India and others are free to like or dislike him. To complain is a travesty if not pure stupidity on his part. Stop wasting our time now Mr. Khan, you have already wasted our goodwill . Enough!

    • kojak

      er beschwert sich nicht über die die ihn nicht mögen- er redet über die die ihn für ihre negativen handlungen misssbrauchen

    • sanjeev

      first read his interview and understand what he was saying…He pointed at politicians that politicians target him because of musllim..its true..shiv sena and MNS targeted him without any reason…he said because of this he feel insecure that these politicians might harm him and his family….without reading article and understanding what he is saying you people comment without common sense…

  • Neermal Goolabsinghg

    Why worry or be concerned it happens every day from way back

  • Praveen

    India has millions of other problems. Who cares about SRK other than media?

  • Venkat

    Cheap publicity!!

    • sanjeev

      first read his interview and understand what he was saying…He pointed at politicians that politicians target him because of musllim..its true..shiv sena and MNS targeted him without any reason…he said because of this he feel insecure that these politicians might harm him and his family….without reading article and understanding what he is saying you people comment without common sense…

      • m

        agree!! he’s only referring him being used as a political punching bag!!!

  • neha

    badasha you are vrey romantic hero

  • neha

    badasha you are smart

  • akash

    srk you are very smart and very romantic hero in bollywood.

  • Manish

    These media doesn’t have any masala to publish so he is making a big Zero as a hero, really media is big Hole

    • sanjeev

      he is not zero..he is a hero…so think before and comment..first read his interview and understand what he was saying…He pointed at politicians that politicians target him because of musllim..its true..shiv sena and MNS targeted him without any reason…he said because of this he feel insecure that these politicians might harm him and his family….without reading article and understanding what he is saying you people comment without common sense…

      • abdul

        yes BRO, U r 100% right !!

  • ness

    I think people need to read the article then comments about it. They are jumping to conclusion.

  • Rajiv

    His statement came after the police removed his security and his behaviour with public servent is not good .. also he want to be in the news .. doesn’t matter for good or bad..

  • Balance

    The government of India must take action against Media people (the one who misinterpret and mislead the readers.

  • indian

    there are people who differentiated between people on basis of religion but let me tell u that the % of such people is very less… most indians want to live in peace together and yes i dont deny that the political fraternity tends to use public figures to justify things that are absured and stupid and this is wrong and such acts by politicians are hated by people too…

  • runa gautam

    we know only this we should all treated equally but sometime it hapnes thats v bad.

  • Utpala

    SRK have always been an Indian and therefore every Indian loves him and treats him as one among Indians.

  • Utpala

    SRK has been, is and will remain an Indian.


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