BY | January 29, 2013

Maitinee idol and top rated Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan has divided India Pakistan (video). But it has finally brought Indian Muslims in focus

Shah Rukh Khan, the badshah of Indian cinema has become the latest reason for India and Pakistan to fight. He is a billionaire actor/business man with a keen nose for success in business has become the most recent topic for India and Pakistan to fight over. Pakistani interior minister Rahman Malik had said that India should provide him security and Indian officials pouncing over him to mind his own business.

Shah Rukh Khan is not just among the highest paid actors in India, he has a rather huge film company Red Chillies and his business interests include cricket as he owns Kolkata Knight Riders, a very successful team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) besides many other things. Shah Rukh Khan or the King Khan recently expressed his resentment over being subjugated to frisking repeatedly due to his Surname Khan while on visits to USA and also repeated attack on him by some fringe Hindu organisations who have asked him to go to Pakistan. Though many say that this recent blogging by Khan was merely aimed at seeking publicity from media, nonetheless it is an issue that is confronted by many Muslims in India.

Though Khan is not marginalised and remains among top privileged people not just among the Muslim community, but also among the general Indians, many Muslims are not as lucky as him and face discrimination day and night. Immediately after his blogging, Jamatuddawa chief Hafiz Saeed who is wanted for Mumbai bomb blasts by Indian authorities had asked him to come over to Pakistan.

SRK who was recently named as the most influential Indian actor by Forbes. Pakistani minister Malik said in Islamabad that the Indian government should provide security to Shah Rukh, in the thick of a controversy over his remarks on being a Muslim that led to Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed saying the star could move to Pakistan. Addressing reporters in Islamabad at a reception hosted by the Indian High Commissioner, Malik added that people of both Pakistan and India love Shah Rukh, reported Geo TV Tuesday.

On the other hand, Indian authorities didn’t take even hours to respond. Soon after Malik’s remarks were reported in the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and Home Secretary R.K. Singh said Pakistan should worry about the state of affairs in its own country. Both Tewari and R.K. Singh spoke in near identical terms to decry Malik’s statement. “Instead of introspection of how minorities in India are being treated he (Malik) should contemplate how he can improve condition of minority in his country,” Tewari told reporters. He said it would be better for Pakistan if Malik paid attention to domestic matters of his own country rather than worrying about such things. “Test of democracy is the way you treat your minority rather than majority. The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has strived to see every citizen in the same light and given equal right under the constitution,” he said. The home secretary spoke out too.

Indian officials castigated Pakistan and asked it to mind its own business. “We are quite capable of looking after security of our own citizens… let him (Malik) worry about security of his own,” he said. Shah Rukh, one of Bollywood’s more articulate personalities, had written in Outlook Turning Points magazine, published in association with The New York Times: “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.” “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,” added the 47-year-old star. He went on say that he became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist, “who co-incidentally carries the same name as mine that I made a film subtly titled ‘My Name Is Khan’ (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point”.

But the sudden outburst by SRK seems amazing. “Ironically, I was interrogated at the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to promote the film in America for the first time,” he said. Many say that it is a publicity stunt and he wants to remain in the media, even by speaking out in such negative way.


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