Shahrukh Khan controversy: Hype and hypocrisy

Published: January 30, 2013
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If it really is all about his Muslim identity, why wasn’t Khan hailed as a hero for his work when he co-produced and acted in a film which spoke out against stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists? PHOTO: Outlook Turning Point SCREENSHOT

As anything Shahrukh Khan would, the Bollywood megastar’s recent article in an Indian magazine, where he admits to having felt discriminated against in constitutionally-secular India for his Muslim identity, has gone viral.

Everyone and their khala has read the interview, sympathising and basing their entire critique of India’s treatment of ‘minorities’ on this one man’s one statement that’s hardly any different from his previous statements on the matter.

Enter our very own Hafiz Saeed, the noble chief of UN-blacklisted charity organisation Jamaatud Dawa. Unable to bear the injustice being meted out to a Muslim brother in (horror of horrors) India, he jumped in with a hospitable suggestion to Khan; move to Pakistan where he will be secure.

As hilarious as that suggestion is, given the kind of security we provide to our own people and how we have historically treated immigrants from India, it points to deep hypocrisy and confusion among the ranks of proponents of anti-India rhetoric in Pakistan.

Before this article, if you had asked these same people about Khan’s Muslim credentials, they would have launched into a diatribe about how he is a shame to the Muslim ummah and destined for hell for his ‘irreligious actions’.

Invariably, his perfectly harmonious marriage to a Hindu woman would have been cited as un-Islamic and a “gunah-e-kabira” (the greatest sin). His children, whose safety they now care for more than that of at-risk Pakistani children, would have been christened as illegitimate progeny. His work and entire career, from which he derives his rozi, would have been termed haraam because his films have music and women in revealing clothing.

So what has changed now?

Have his secular beliefs and choices suddenly become acceptable to pious people like Hafiz Saeed?

If it really is all about his Muslim identity, why wasn’t Khan hailed as a hero for his work when he co-produced and acted in a film which spoke out against stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists?

Didn’t the film give a voice to Muslim men and women, the world over, who are regularly seen with suspicion simply on the basis of faith?

My hope is that in the middle of all this hysteria, somebody will pay attention to the real problem that Khan was trying to point to in his article; our intolerant and jingoistic attitudes that keep us from achieving bigger and better things in life, as people, as a society and as a country.

And that is something that people like Hafiz Saeed can never, ever let nations achieve.

Do you think Shahrukh Khan exercised poor judgement in his article for Outlook?

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Read more by Zainab here or follow her on twitter @zainabimam 

Zainab.Imam

Zainab Imam

A journalist, on a hiatus to pursue a Masters in Public Policy at The University of Chicago. Gender parity advocate, urban policy enthusiast. She tweets @zainabimam (twitter.com/zainabimam) and blogs at gulaabjamun.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Pessimist

    Shahrukh Khan is our MuSlM hero. He is using Bollywood to recruit Muslims to the wonderful religion of Islam.
    He will be welcomed in Pakistan, but his wife needs to stay back in India. If his children are Muslim then they are welcome, otherwise they can stay in India.

    Pakistan RoX!Recommend

  • Nandita.

    where he admits to having felt discriminated against in constitutionally-secular India for his Muslim identity, has gone viral.

    The instances where he may have been discriminated against were isolated events.He was attempting to draw attention to the fact that a handful of politicians mis use his name on some occasions.

    SRK’s own words —-
    Reacting to Malik’s statement, the actor said in a press conference here that “I would like to tell all those who are offering unsolicited advice that we in India are extremely safe and happy.
    “We have an amazing democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environment that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life and material. As a matter-of-fact, it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue”.

    Another quote from the article –
    According to him, the article he wrote was “actually meant to reiterate that some occasions might being an Indian Muslim filmstar is misused by bigot and narrow-minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for small gains”, and ironically the same has happened through this article once again.
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/shah-rukh-khan-gets-emotional-says-why-force-me-to-reiterate-my-patriotism/1066405/3

    Shah Rukh Khan is the biggest star India has – Had he been discriminated against , he would have never achieved the fame that he has. Recommend

  • XCriminal

    True story.Recommend

  • rajesh

    finally a sane article on the topic.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Hahah, come to Pakistan. yes please SRK, come to Pakistan where even Pakistanis aren’t safe at the moment. Anyways, more to the point, nice analysis. All it takes is one comment that can be possibly construed as anti-India and people like Hafiz Saaed and the like-minded grab it and take off running. All of a sudden, you’re an angel and you need protecting from evil India..
    And the blame doesn’t lie solely with Pakistanis. Indians are guilty of the same thing. Particularly a trend among holy men on both sides of the fence.
    Remember folks, you’re only worthy if you express a non-Muslim or non-Pakistani mistreating you. If a Muslim Pakistani mistreats you, you’re going to hell in a hand-basket and unworthy of saving because you’re a sinner. Cheers. Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    Dear writter,

    few points which you have brought to light are very true and few of them are totally false..

    wht do you mean by Immigrants from India are not treated here well????? My family was an Immigrant and please we were given full rights in Pakistan…keeping in mind the limit of right a normal Pakistani has. I dont want to start a discussion on MQM but this point is completely invalid.

    You second point about Hyporcracy is obviously right ,but again to an extend. The point wht Shahrukh does for his living and the point wht is happening with him are two very different things.Yes his way of style might not be appreciated here but his believe is not letting him live in a country is a complete different story.

    In any case may b you wont lke it, but India stands for secularism and because of this point it’s Indias responsibilty to provide him the required feeling of being and Indian to a muslim living there. Wht bothers us more is than on international forum India points out that Pakistan is intolerant and extremists and itself is much worse. Pakistan on the other hand accepts that it has extremist elements and its some what fighting to curtail those problems. How far we are successful is again a different story.Recommend

  • ss

    and you took HS’s statement seriously? i mean seriously??Recommend

  • http://www.zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com Zaid Hamid

    Shah Rukh will make new movie in Pakistan: My Name Is Khan And I Am Not A Shia.Recommend

  • Diggvijay Singh

    SRK is the modern day Indian idol. He has millions of fans here. It’s daft to think he would be choosing any other country than his motherland. Pakistani artists like Adnan Sami, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Zafar etc. too find it a wonderful experience to come and stay in India, do their creative work here. They are not only safe, they rule millions of Indian hearts through their talent. Recommend

  • Nitish

    Anyway ,whatever you say but this guy SRK has certainly gotta some kinda problem in himself.Who cares whether he married a hindu or muslim but if he(along with his whole family) moves to pakistan,that will be a great service to hindus here in india.He is turning out to be a mullah rather than a normal human being day by day.He used to appear on the TV screen with zakir naik which irks us more.We dont expect religious teaching from a film star.His act always questions his credibility as an indian.I will tell you,sooner india is going to be hell place for likes of him.Its young india which is more upright and assertive in approach.Recommend

  • Diggvijay Singh

    @Shah (Berlin):

    The point wht Shahrukh does for his living and the point wht is happening with him are two very different things.Yes his way of style might not be appreciated here but his believe is not letting him live in a country is a complete different story.

    Not different things. His life-style also comes from his beliefs. His belief in secularism and commonality of humans, his belief in artistic liberty. If his ‘way of style’, as you put it, will not be appreciated by people like you, that means he would be unwelcome for people like you because of his beliefs. It’s one and the same thing. Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Nandita

    You missed the point in your last sentence “Shah Rukh Khan is the biggest star India has – Had he been discriminated against , he would have never achieved the fame that he has”

    The point is that Shahrukh Khan became a star when he never cared about his muslim identity and all his fans in India were happy with him. BUT the moment SRK realised his muslim identity and made the movie My Name is Khan about the discrimination against muslims and started frequently speaking on this issue, he began losing his popularity. So the point is even a person of SRK’s fame is discriminated against, if he openly professes his Islamic faith. This is the issue which needs to be addressed. Discrimination against Practicing muslims in non muslim countries (Be it Europe, USA or India)Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Nitish:

    if he(along with his whole family) moves to pakistan,that will be a great service to hindus here in india

    India is his homeland and that’s where he belongs and that is where he will stay. Right wingers need to grasp the fact that India is and will always be a land where people of all religions live in harmony.Recommend

  • Milind

    @I am a Khan – “BUT the moment SRK realised his muslim identity and made the movie My Name is Khan about the discrimination against muslims and started frequently speaking on this issue, he began losing his popularity.”

    That’s half part of the truth… Basically we’re upset because he’s playing the victim mode as most of the Muslims do, without looking within and trying to analyse the reasons behind the flak they receive everywhere.
    Had he made a balanced movie, highlighting the discrimination he faces DUE to barbaric acts his co-religionists commit, it would have made sense. Rather than targeting non-Muslims he could have targeted his co-religionists showcasing both sides in equal proportions, making them realize the error of their ways.Recommend

  • Indi-Pop

    @Nitish: Dude, you are an anti-national according to the Indian Constitution. Move to any country that would take you if you are so unhappy with what it means to be Indian.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    For Shah (Berlin):

    I don’t comment much these days but I always go through blogs and comments. I must say your comments are always the most illogical and to some extent, pointless. Btw why do you put Berlin after each comment of yours. Does it make you feel superior or better? Please don’t bring more damage to us Pakistanis in Germany.

    Wht bothers us more is than on international forum India points out that Pakistan is intolerant and extremists and itself is much worse.

    Why does it bother you what India says? Let them say what they want. They have their problems, we have our own. Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Diggvijay Singh:

    The person with the name “I am Khan” has explained my point.

    The point till he was a person with no believe, he was appreciated. The second he started appreiciating Islam or muslim, extremist in India got against him. The worst is that they get government backing.

    My point remains….we Pakistanis and Indians have extremist problem. Believe me or not but Pakistan accepts this problem and is trying to solve it. On the other hand India drums that its secular and a safe plan where you find religious Harmony and than sends women cricket to move to another stadium and the 5 star hotel are not ready to book their rooms……..so you call it freedom???????? secular????????Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @I am a Khan:

    Yes, that’s right. Hindus hated the movie ‘ My name is Khan’ and that’s why it was such a huge flop. Hindus boycotted the movie and that’s the reason it failed so miserably. Hindus hate his guts for daring to act in a film defending muslims – his popularity plummeted to such a great extent that he was forced to quit bollywood post ‘My name is Khan’ and hasn’t been allowed to act since then. He has been barred from attending award functions and all Hindus have unfollowed him on twitter. His house was looted and razed to the ground , not only that even his hindu wife has deserted him. Infact, I saw Aryan and Suhana outside the American embassy the other day seeking asylum. Poor souls – my heart goes out to them.
    The Hindu writer and directer of the film are on the run; all efforts to apprehend them have been unsuccessful. Recommend

  • Nitish

    @Nandita.: India is his homeland and that’s where he belongs and that is where he will stay.
    Then tell him to swallow the bitter pill and do not whine……..This land doesnt belong to him….India is Hindu and Hindu is India….Thats all ….Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Nitish:

    SRK has every right to speak out if certain politicians use his name to gain some cheap publicity. He hasn’t done any wrong by speaking up. Nitish, it is time you ‘swallow the bitter pill’ that along with being a secular country, India also guarantees its citizen something called’ freedom of speech’. Recommend

  • Sane

    Hindu extremism is on peak. Home & Foreign ministers confess that Hindus are killing Muslims and also Hindus run terrorist camps. Jawed Miandad was denied for visa to see Pak-Ind matches. Renowned Pakistani stage artists were told to go without performing. Women’s cricket team was denied accommodation in hotel. Even due to Hindu extremists threat venue was changed from Bombay to Katak. Pakistani Journalists were denied permission to attend a literary conference. Consequently they came back.

    SHINING INDIA is now BLEEDINGRecommend

  • Diggvijay Singh

    @Shah (Berlin):

    The person with the name “I am Khan” has explained my point.
    The point till he was a person with no believe, he was appreciated. The second he started appreiciating Islam or muslim, extremist in India got against him. The worst is that they get government backing.

    SRK’s Ra One, a pretty average movie, made after My Name Is Khan, collected Rs. 200 crores. His popularity in the country was as much as before if not more. Why don’t you see that instead of few extremists who speak ill of him from time to time for different reasons?
    The thing you say about extremists being backed by the Indian govt is bunkum.

    My point remains….we Pakistanis and Indians have extremist problem. Believe me or not but Pakistan accepts this problem and is trying to solve it. On the other hand India drums that its secular and a safe plan where you find religious Harmony and than sends women cricket to move to another stadium and the 5 star hotel are not ready to book their rooms……..so you call it freedom???????? secular????????

    Recommend

  • http://India Mahesh Patil

    @Nitish:
    Congrats man,you are our Hafiz saeed.Recommend

  • abhi

    I think SRK got more milage from this article than he expected.
    Recommend

  • http://USA Observer

    @Nitish:

    Dude let me clue you in about your attitude. This world is getting sick and tired of people like you. The world does not need your types because your types lead to the downfall of societies. I hope that one day you do visit a western country so we can show you where you stand in the game of life. Recommend

  • abhi

    @Sane
    So pakistani are being treated badly in India. What are you going to do about it?Recommend

  • joy

    Somewhere in all this hype we all missed the most poignant point…and that is………
    ” my name is Khan and I am not a terrorist” has been invite by ” my name in not Khan and I am a terrorist”.
    Recommend

  • Genesis

    When Osama was not safe in Pakistan the chances for SRK will be abysmal.Of course he is always welcome to try his luckRecommend

  • Nitish

    I hope that one day you do visit a western country so we can show you where you stand in the game of life.
    Well ,I m capable of getting good job here in India…I have no desire of living like a second class citizen in western countries…..By the way india is growing enormously ….5 to 6% growth rate is incredible in existing scenario………Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Nitish:

    I have no desire of living like a second class citizen in western countries

    So, you don’t want to be treated like a second class citizen in another country but you’re more than willing to treat Muslims like second class citizens in THEIR OWN COUNTRY?Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Nitish:

    I have no desire of living like a second class citizen in western countries

    So, you don’t want to be treated like a second class citizen in another country but you’re more than willing to treat Muslims like second class citizens in THEIR OWN COUNTRY.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Diggvijay Singh:

    It might be bogus. Yesterday I read that Pakistan women team were not able to get a room in hotels in India.

    Can you explain me that. You are haveing ICC level tournaments in your country and players are unable to get rooms….???? and the only reason is that they are Pakistanis…

    This thing can happen in Pakistan as well but im not blind folded with the fact that we have no extremists. Yes, we have and Pakistanis are fighting to get rid of them….again will not comment how successful we are till now but atleast start with accepting your mistakes….peaceRecommend

  • Impartial

    Looking at the comments, feels like ET is an Indian website.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Sane:

    well put…Recommend

  • http://Sydney SK5

    Dosen’t the subcontinent have bigger problems then SRK’s admission?.Recommend

  • kazim agha

    now hafiz saeed using veena malik nd meera’s tactics to come in show buzznews Recommend

  • Nitish

    @Nandita:
    ” but you’re more than willing to treat Muslims like second class citizens in THEIR OWN COUNTRY.”
    I dont know that why am i writing it again and again…..”India is not their country…They have their own promised land….They can go there and live”Recommend

  • BINGO!

    @Nandita @I am a Khan:

    Wow! That was the best reply to an idiotic comment, I have seen in a long time.
    You drove the point home, no hit it out of the park!Recommend

  • Sobriquet

    @Shah (Berlin):
    You state: “India points out that Pakistan is intolerant and extremists and itself is much worse.” Please give an example (that can be substantiated independently) of how India is worse than Pakistan in treating its minorities.

    PS: Are you the Shah who used to sell currywurst on Berlin’s Ostbahnhof?Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Nitish:

    You are the perfect example of people who I am talking about here.

    Other Indians here:

    Now the question is who is the real India. The so called secular Indians or people like Nitish.

    Till India doesnt solve this puzzle you are in the same boat of extremisim. It would be better for India to swallow the pill and start working on accepting their part of fanatism. Otherwise your shinning India will bleed…and it will bleed badly…peaceRecommend

  • Azaz

    People like you stay in Pakistan, that is why this country can never grow,
    Who are you to seperate SRK from his wife and children,

    God should separete you from your parents and family, So that you feel the pain before even thinking for someone elseRecommend

  • BlackJack

    Shahrukh Khan plays up his muslim-ness very often and this irks a lot of people – there, I said it. Frankly, I don’t like it when someone plays up their Hindu-ness either; there is nothing wrong in being proud of your faith, but if you wish to identify yourself by it in the public domain, be prepared for both admirers and detractors. Muslims who are far greater than SRK (Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam for example) have also faced difficulties on account of their name and have dealt with them with equanimity and composure; muslim stars like Salman Khan and Aamir Khan do not complain of harassment – I wonder why; maybe you need to build a financial net worth (or an ego?) of a certain size before the bigotry begins. No one says that discriminating on the basis of religion is justified (well, no one other than @Nitish on this forum at least), but don’t expect everyone to like it when you whine about it as a victim, after you’ve built a fortune from the love and affection of those very (supposed) bigots. SRK should keep his religion in the personal domain, and sons of freedom fighters don’t get a free pass. Being a practicing muslim is perfectly fine, and being a practical muslim is great – and it would be wonderful if we had more of the second kind.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Just wondering, are you Shahrukh’s manager or what?Recommend

  • Sobriquet

    @Nitish:
    With people like you India doesn’t need any external enemies; your kind is enough to destroy it from within.

    Btw India belongs to all Indians, irrespective of what their religious beliefs are. If you don’t like it, tough luck because you can do nothing about it. So stop whining.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    I will not defend India’s secular values and such things but only claim this: Its much safer to be a Shia or a Ahmadi Muslim in India, than any other place in South Asia.

    Its much safer to be a Christian in Pakistan, than a Shia or a Ahmadi Muslim. Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Sobriquet:

    simple example. We accept a problem within and are having a WAR with our extremists.

    India on the other hand says ” we have no extremist”…already said in almost all my posts. Its an advice….see the failure in you beforehand before it kills you.

    P.S I didnt know there is a Shah at Berlin hauptbahnhof…will check it …viel Spaß…tschüss..Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Much ado about nothing! I am a victim and need sympathy from people which they usualy reserve for politicians. This is one of the classic PR exercise. Mr Khan is not a model of a muslim per say and film stars are usualy regarded as atheists any way. He has a problem with the name Khan and yet it is the name which attracts people around the globe. How about the name Kahn which would attract, jewish, chinese and even the Japanese people, or he should follow the Holywood cult and adopt a universal accepted name. His problems are definitely less than that of Barack Hussain Obama, the son of a muslim who is the 2nd term President of the USA and is regularly confronted with slurs racial as well as of ethnic and religious nature.

    In any case Mr Khan should show a bit of loyalty and tolerence for the country where he is earning his ife style.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Atif

    Rehman Malik is a legend….. You know what I mean.. :)Recommend

  • Sameer

    @I am a Khan:

    Thats the whole point. Why bring Religion in between when others don’t discriminate. The moment you bring religion you are discriminating yourself from other religions. India is secular for a secular minded people, If you try to be communal by bringing religion, you are going against secularism.
    This is also true for a Hindu/Christian untill he brings his religion in between in India.Recommend

  • Diggvijay Singh

    @Shah (Berlin):

    Pakistani women’s team should be treated nicely as guests, I agree. May I remind you that cricket commentators like Wasim Akram and Rameez Raja were honored in an Indian stadium very recently. Indian crowd appreciate them. What happened with your women’s team or hockey players is a temporary flare up between the two countries due to a beheading of Indian soldiers. That is not a sign of general Indian behavior towards Pakistanis. I gave the example of several musicians and actors from Pakistan who are loved by the Indian public. Recommend

  • Sudheer

    @Nandita,
    I agree to most of your arguments in defense of Shahrukh, but, I think he cannot escape some of the blame for the frequent controversies that surround him. After all he is not the only Muslim actor who became a super star. Innumerable other actors&actresses enriched the Bollywood and attained unprecedented fame ‘n fortune. But, none of them ever allowed themselves to get involved in the kind of controversies that Shahrukh creates for himself. Particularly, controversies involving one’s religion was unheard of in the vehemently secular Bollywood industry where religion has always been a taboo word. It’s not to say that all those associated with Bollywood were irreligious or atheists, but, they strictly kept their beliefs within their private domain.
    Take an example of another Muslim super star Dilip Kumar who was well known as a practicing Muslim, however, he kept his religious beliefs strictly confined to the four walls of his home. Just listen to the bhajans sang by the king of melody, Muhammad Rafi, you would find immense devotion in his voice and it would be difficult for you believe that he was a devout Muslim. Let’s come to the recent times. Look at the way Aamir Khan, another iconic star, behaves in his public and private life. He too is married to a Hindu woman, but, this Hindu-Muslim crap never came up during his entire career.
    My point is this man, Sharukh, wants some extra attention or like many Muslims, suffers (may be enjoys) from victimhood mentality. Recommend

  • http://rediff vinodjaiswal35

    @Shah (Berlin): Shah Sahib why are you staying in Berlin? Please do you know what is the life of a Mohajir in Pakistan after coming to Pakistan 60 years ago. He is still an out cast and treated as an outsider. India has its aim and objectives laid out clearly and progressing to achieve these. We do not believe in two nation theory and will never ever do so. Recommend

  • Manju

    @I am a Khan:
    BUT the moment SRK realised his muslim identity and made the movie My Name is Khan about the discrimination against muslims and started frequently speaking on this issue, he began losing his popularity.
    SRK acted in the movie and did not make it.
    1. The movie was produced by Hiroo Yash Johar, Karan Johar (also the director of the movie), Gauri Khan (SRK’s wife) – all 3 Hindus….
    2. Screenplay by Shibani Bathija – another Hindu…
    3. Story by Karan Johar & Shibani Bathija – Hindus..
    4. Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy – Hindu, Muslim & Christian trio..
    5. Cinematography – Ravi Chandran – a Hindu…
    6. Editing – Deepa Bhatia – another Hindu…

    All these (mostly Hindus) worked on a project against the stereotyping of Muslims… What have muslims in Pakistan done to do some good name for muslims???
    So brother before you utter something at-least do some research……….Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Anoop:

    well posted. You have a strong point. i think if most of the people on both the side are ready to accept problems and work on them….world wud be a better place.
    Peace have a nice day…Recommend

  • Lala Gee

    @Sobriquet:

    “You state: “India points out that Pakistan is intolerant and extremists and itself is much worse.” Please give an example (that can be substantiated independently) of how India is worse than Pakistan in treating its minorities.”

    Check these reports by ‘Human Rights Watch’ (there are hundreds more).

    1- [INDIA: Communal Violence and the Denial of Justice][1]
    [1]: http://www.hrw.org/reports/1996/India1.htm
    2- [Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India][2]
    [2]: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2007/india1007/india1007webwcover.pdf
    3- [“We Have No Orders To Save You”, State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat][3]
    [3]: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/
    4- [Everyone Lives in Fear. Patterns of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir][4]
    [4]: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/india0906/india0906web.pdf
    5- [Politics by Other Means: Attacks Against Christians in India October 1, 1999][5]
    [5]: http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/10/01/politics-other-means-attacks-against-christians-indiaRecommend

  • Milind

    @Blackjack – You hit it right on the head.

    @Nandita – “SRK has every right to speak out if certain politicians use his name to gain some cheap publicity”
    First of all this SRK guy sleeps with the Congress and then whines after getting caught in the cross-fire between Congress & rivals. Why are Aamir Khan, Salman Khan not complaining – because they steered clear of all political connections. He cannot have it both ways.
    He is a closet Islamist – who will play the victim mode by bringing out atrocities against Muslims, but preach secularism to Hindus. Recommend

  • Milind

    @Shah (Berlin) – “We accept a problem within and are having a WAR with our extremists.”

    Who are the “We” you’re talking about. All the leading Pakistani journalists are complaining the lack of action against these home grown barbarians. Everybody is in denial mode. People are routinely killed.
    Recommend

  • http://USA Jim

    If I was a Pakistani and read SRK’s original article and his subsequent clarification (google it) I would feel deeply humiliated. He has criticized everything Pakistan is, without even wanting to take it’s name, referring to as “a neighboring country.” Everything he says praises India and says how proud he is of being Indian and is critical of the path Pakistan has taken without naming it. Read it yourself, although I doubt if Hafiz Saeed and Rehman Malik are capable of understanding it. Recommend

  • Gaurav

    @Shah (Berlin):

    If murderer accepts that he is murderer that does not give him to license to kill others. Shame on Pakistan for treating its minorities unfairly. Human rights do not change if a nation is religious or secular.Recommend

  • Alex

    Zainab,
    The ground is shaking underneath. The myth that islam is only the solace and will give peace is false. Many Pakistanis know this and this is the last attempt to salvage the lost pride…… By quoting SRK, they feel good. But SRK is just one star among many muslims who made it great in India. Even muslims succeeding in India upsets many prejudiced ones like Hafiz and his passive rogue supporters. Because muslims succeeding in India means the existence and falsehood perpertrated by those under the name of islam are under threat!!! No wonder what SRK says is misinterpreted. Even a section of black americans continue to blame american society for racism even after Obama won presidency twice!!! Some people are never happy no matter what!! But they will not change! The core point of why Pakistan cannot manage itself as a peaceful democratic nation will never be answered by these so called islamists. None is asking Pakistn to be secular state because you do not have enough other religion followers to be secular state ever. They are GONE. The real reason why peace is such a myth between India and Pakistan as one nation just cannot manage to stay as a nation because it destroyed itself on the name of a religion. There is a cost you pay by using religion beyond the four doors. SRK used it and lost his popularity which he most likely will never regain. Pakistan used excess religion and lost its future. The point is -is religion worth that much? Pakistan an economic tiger in 1970’s is a poor state today…I will not hesitate to blame the excess dose of religion for that. There is a cost you pay for using anything in excess without God’s permission…..:)Recommend

  • Zeshan

    Why are we Pakistanis concerned about Sharukh. Let him live in India we dont want him in Pakistan. He is a sharabi, a nashayi My aunt’s have seen him very closely in concerts. He doesn’t seem to be a muslim anyways. THe problem is we Pakistani’s have a very big heart is Afridi said so we always welcome everyone but we dont need anyone from India and Rehman Malik’s comments were very stupid. He should himself go to India Whole Pakistan will celebrate !!Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Nandita

    Your long bogus reply to my comment makes no sense at all.

    YES Shiv Sena tore the posters of My Name is khan
    YES Hindu politicians told SRK (a born and famed Indian) to leave India after MNIK
    YES SRK was deserted by his close friends (Kajol, Farah Khan, Amitabh Bachan, etc) after MNIK.
    Yes Extremist Hindu Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thakery was given a state funeral in India. I do not think Hafiz Saeed will get a state funeral in Pakistan
    YES if you go to indian websites, you see ordinary people speaking agaist SRK only after her made MNIK
    YES the staff of Wankede statium abused him for being a muslim

    Can you deny all of this? Wake up and accept the truth. In non muslim countries there is severe bigotry against any muslim who openly professes Islam. SRK was only trying to make this mindset of people change against practicing and professing muslims by the article he wrote, but in return he had to face all this controversy, for an article which was by no means offensive! Now poor SRK openly said that he will speak only about films as that is what people expect him to do. This clearly shows the backlash he faced just for speaking the truth about the bigotry muslims face in India and the west.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Shah (Berlin): “In any case may b you wont lke it, but India stands for secularism and because of this point it’s Indias responsibilty to provide him the required feeling of being and Indian to a muslim living there”.

    Indeed India is secular and indeed people of all religions have a right to be treated as equal citizens. Want to hear what Shah Rukh himself has to say about that?
    “We have an amazing democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environment that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life and material. As a matter-of-fact, it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue”.
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/shah-rukh-khan-gets-emotional-says-why-force-me-to-reiterate-my-patriotism/1066405/3

    ” Wht bothers us more is than on international forum India points out that Pakistan is intolerant and extremists and itself is much worse”.

    What is the basis of saying India is worse. Does Indian constitution give equal rights to people of all faiths? YEs. Does Pakistani constitution do the same? No. In India the PM, CJ, Defense minister, foreign minister, finance minister, COAS, Chief of Airforce are all non-Hindus. What about Pakistan which had the same percentage of non-Muslims in 1947 as there were on-Hindus in India in 1947? It is not just in government but in private life to non-Hindus are at absolute top in every sphere. It is difficult for Pakistan to point out to any Hindu or SIkh at the top. Even people who dress like Hindus supposedly (i.e. wear a Saree) are condemned in present day Pakistan.Recommend

  • gp65

    @I am a Khan: “We have an amazing democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environment that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life and material. As a matter-of-fact, it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue”.

    Another quote from the article –
    According to him, the article he wrote was “actually meant to reiterate that some occasions might being an Indian Muslim filmstar is misused by bigot and narrow-minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for small gains”, and ironically the same has happened through this article once again.
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/shah-rukh-khan-gets-emotional-says-why-force-me-to-reiterate-my-patriotism/1066405/3

    He has had many 100+crore revenue movies in India after MNIK was released – Don2, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ra-One. No one resents his Muslim identity which is not hidden and is in fact present in his name (he did not change it like Meena Kumari or Dilip Kumar). When it appeared that he was supporting Pakistani cricketers soon after 26/11 some people were upset. That was specific to the episode and related to loyalty to country – not to his faith.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Pessimist: “I don’t comment much these days but I always go through blogs and comments.”

    Why so? Your comments usually are very sensible. Do write more often.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Shah (Berlin): “On the other hand India drums that its secular and a safe plan where you find religious Harmony and than sends women cricket to move to another stadium and the 5 star hotel are not ready to book their rooms……..so you call it freedom???????? secular????????”

    Secularism refers to equal rights for all citizens not foreigners. The examples you provided have nothing to do with democracy or secularism.

    @Indi-Pop

    I do not agree with @Nitish either but that does not make him anti-national as you indicate. Just as Shah Rukh is entitled to freedom of speech and continue to live in India, the same freedom is available to Nitish aso. I am surprised that you are okay with anything Shah Rukh says which has offended many Indians across religious divides but Nitish is anti-national and cannot even live in India if he says things we disagree with? Double standards much – eh?Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nandita.: I agree 100% with you that the Constitution guarantees Shah Rukh freedom of speech. The same constitution guarantees Nitish freedom of speech also. I disagree with what he says but he too has a right to say it.Recommend

  • Haresh

    Shahrukh Khan is an immensely talented actor and is loved by millions of Indians and non Indians alike. The fact that he is a Muslim does not stand in any way of the fact that he is an Indian and a national icon. Like every Indian, he has the right of freedom and expression and nothing in his writing suggests any thing anti Indian etc.
    There are bigots in both India and Pakistan, but it is best that Shahrukh is left out of all the muck raked up for he is above all of this. Pakistan may well take care of her citizens and not worry about Shahrukh for there are millions to take care of him. Shahrukh, India loves you……..more films please……..Recommend

  • gp65

    @Sane: It is true that post LOC incidents, anti-Pakistan feelings are running high. But anti-Pakistan does not mean anti-Muslim. None of Amir/Shah Rukh/Salman’s movies have been cancelled. None of A R Rehman’s assigments have been cancelled. Nor has anyone questioned the appropriateness of Salman Khurshid’s role on the basis of his faith.

    As for the home minister’s unsubstantiated statement that he was aware of BJP and RSS run terror camps, Congress has actually distanced itself from it. The fact of the matter is that ALL Indians would like any terror camps to be dismantled – no matter the faith of the person running such a camp. As a home minister if he is aware of such camps, it is his job to shut the camps down and prosecute people concerned, not just speak about it in Party meeting.Recommend

  • Critical

    Sharukh Khan is lucky…He has distinguished persons like Hafiz Saeed welcoming him to a “peaceful” country like Pakistan where he can be “safe” from extremists

    Poor Kamal Hasan,a well known atheist and anti-Hindu, who has previously made many movies criticizing Hinduism and Hindu customs…

    In Hey Ram,He even went to suggest that Hindu groups planned the assassination of Gandhi,something which has been denied by RSS vehemently..Oh yeah,Shahrukh made an appearance of a “tolerant Muslim” who makes the Hindu-extremist Hero to renounce his terrorist ways…

    But,in his movie “Vishwaroopam”,he plays as a Muslim spy who infiltrates into Taliban and helps American forces enable their hideout..

    But the Tamil Muslims feel that its against their religion and threatened to unleash violence just to prove that Muslims are not violent as potrayed by movie…and TN govt decided to ban the movie,even though the Censor board which had a muslim member clear the movie

    Just today,Kamal Hasan ponders the idea of leaving Tamilnadu…

    This is what is happening in India,on one side,Muslims pretend to be victims,on the other side,they act as aggressors….The good news that majority of them dont side with these kind of them and the bad news is that their percentage is slowly,but steadily decreasingRecommend

  • RK Singh

    @I am a Khan:
    Its laughable statement:

    Discrimination against Practicing muslims in non muslim countries (Be it Europe, USA or India)

    Let me know muslim countries where other faith can be practiced in public, then may be we can talk about other discriminations for muslims in non muslim countries.

    so for them who do not understand indirect connotation, it is discrimination for all other faiths in UAE, Kuwait or any other muslim country to not to allow other religion. Oh yes, Pakistan, may check freedom of religious expression their also.

    So before you take out your gun about being Khan, tell lot of others Khans to behave like human, not like muslim.

    So in nutshell all muslim countries and muslims have to look inside them and ask, are they human first or are they muslims first. If they choose to be muslim first, then I dont mind whatever treatment they are getting all over world.Recommend

  • Peace-out

    My god…i dont know how much time i hav wasted reading above discussed bullshit….. i seriously need to do sumthing productive…Recommend

  • Insaan

    This incidence shows how some Paki Jihadis and politicians are always ready to divide Indians.
    It is sad even many educated Pakistanis can’t understand their games.

    Paki terrorists always choose targets where they can kill a sizable number of Muslims and non-Muslims.

    Creating division between Indian Muslims and non-Muslims was the reason that 10 Paki terrorists who attacked Bombay on 26/11 pretended to be Hindus and killed 40 Indian Muslims and 124 non-Muslims.Recommend

  • goggi

    German grammer corrections!

    @Sobriquet: PS: Are you the Shah who used to sell currywurst on Berlin’s Ostbahnhof?

    * currywurst = Currywurst

    @Shah (Berlin): P.S I didn’t know there is a Shah at Berlin hauptbahnhof

    *hauptbahnhof = HauptbahnhofRecommend

  • S

    and you do not see your own hypocrisy if you do not see treatment of minorities in india (not based on this or any article.) a hypocrite article as you will expect from a westernized person.Recommend

  • RK Singh

    @Shah (Berlin):

    Though you claim to be living in Germany but seems that still you are not ready to accept the fact that by simply saying I know I am rapist and keep on raping is not solution.

    India stands for secularism and because of this point it’s Indias responsibilty ….

    America is an Judo-Christian society, so does it make it less responsible for its citizen who are non-judo-christian ??

    What are you talking ??
    Just because Pakistan declare itself a muslim country, does it become less responsible for other communities ? Anyway, now how many other communities are there in Pakistan now.

    I feel sorry for Pakistanis, because after 65 years of getting a piece of land, there existence is STILL because of India (secular or non-secular). Their history books will always be full of hate stories as otherwise how can young children will find justification for existence of their own country.

    India stands for secularism and because of this point it’s Indias responsibilty ….
    France is also a secular country…. errrr sorry you can wear Burqa there .. so secularism is not good if applied in proper manner.

    Secularism is not only about providing security, is also about having lot of other things but damn religion, politics, money and fanatics.Recommend

  • My Name is Khandelwal

    Hello Yankees, My name is Khandelwal and even tho Khan is inside Khandelwal, I am not a terrorist. Thank you.Recommend

  • Nazia (@ZeeNazia)

    after Veena Malik’s so many publicity stunts.. SRK also had to got some cheap publicity ..
    i never seen in his whole career having such kind of things..
    but now i guess he isn’t getting films and want to stay alive :)Recommend

  • Sanjana

    How did Shah Rukh Khan become a superstar? Is it possible to become a superstar without the hindu majority? Is this what the hindu majority get for loving Shah Rukh unconditionally? He feels unsafe in India ?? Yeah ? really? Have you ever heard of a hindu superstar in Pakistan? These kind of talk make every other religion want to stay away from Muslims. The truth is all terrorist attacks all over the world are done by Muslims. Enough is enough. I am tired of this nonsense. I am done watching Khan movies! Recommend

  • Hold your horses

    A factual error – though a minor one – Shahrukh is not married to a Hindu.

    If my memory serves me right – Shahrukh is married to a Sikh, which again is a great example for India to follow, an example of national integration in the family.Recommend

  • Sm

    Can the writer explain how the migrants from present day India have been mistreated in Pakistan? They had the best deal – claim evacuee property and fake claims as well. The problem is that they somehow think Pakistan was only made for them and they deserve the right to have all the top jobs in the country and the menial jobs are from the punjabis and Pathans. Now they blame the others for taking jobs away from them when they are not williing to work for progress.Recommend

  • AK Murthy

    Here is a person who has made more than 200 Crores by making Indians buy tickets for his movies and endorsing brands in India. Now all of a sudden he talks about his muslim identity and talks about discrimination.

    I have a suggestion for you Mr Khan. Please donate all the money you have made from us Indians and also sell your properties in India and please move to any other country you want.Recommend

  • Unus

    Corporate medias in both India and Pakistan are masters in capitalizing events and incidents to increase their audience and profits. They portray statements out of context to create confusions. The reactions to SRKs article was an example.Recommend

  • Sobriquet

    @Shah (Berlin):
    Nowhere does your reply show how India is much worse than Pakistan in treating its minorities. In case you are unaware, much worse is a comparative term and means more unfavourable. So get your facts right before making unsubstantiated assertions.

    Are you sure you know Berlin? Ostbahnhof is not the Hauptbahnhof.Recommend

  • Amit

    SRK needs to understand that by “bad-mouthing” India’s secularism in a way, by recalling bitter memories collected from a few narrow-minded people who love to create incidences, and that too in a foreign magazine, reveals his gullibility for publicity, or maybe, maybe, he is too dark stupid to track back what he said by retorting: “no, I didn’t ever say that!” He needs to concentrate on his acting. And not try to act “anjaan.” Period.Recommend

  • observer

    @I am a Khan:

    Discrimination against Practicing muslims in non muslim countries (Be it Europe, USA or India)

    While non-Muslims or even Muslims belonging to minority sects are being well treated all across the Muslim world?

    A. Try taking a non-Muslim to Mecca. Or just any religious text other than the Quran to Saudi Arabia.

    B. Try being a Shia/ Ahmadi/ Christian/ Hindu in Pakistan.

    You guys are not qualified to talk about discrimination.Recommend

  • gp65

    @I am a Khan: Since you know the facts that you have stated, surely you know why Shiv Sena protested that movie? Not because of the movie’s title which said My Name is Khan. There have been many Muslim social’s which were released prior without any issue. They protested because of ShahRukh’s statement favoring Pakistan during the IPL auction controversy where no Pakistani players were selected after 26/11. While I don’t agree with Sena’s methods you are wrong to misrepresent the reason for the protest – which had nothing to do with the title of the movie. Also since you remember that Shiv Sena opposed him, you must also be aware that BJP which is frequently accused of Muslim baiting gave a strong signal of support to him by actually arranging a screening of the movie for BJP leadership in Mumbai itself. You must also know that government of India said that it would ensure release of the movie and the movie went on to become a hit.

    Several movies of Shah Rukh after that incident were released without any controversy or issue and have gone on to gross over 100 crores (Ra One, Don 2, Jab tak hai Jaan) once again negating your basis hypothesis that his openly accepting his Muslim identity was the reason he lost popularity.

    Also you must be aware that Sena is an equal opportunity bully and has tried similar strong arm tactics on many other film stars because they are soft targets including Jaya Bacchan during her ‘Hum UP waale hain’ controversy and against the release of Wake Up Sid because Mumbai was referred to as Bombay. ShahRukh too must be aware of this. Hence his pulling out the victim card because Salman has displaced him after a decade long rein as the undisputed no. 1 sounds a little fake.

    He has a right to freedom of speech but if your freedom of speech alienates your fans then you must be willing to bear the consequences of that. That has nothing to do with his religion and everything to do with his personal choice.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Hold your horses: “If my memory serves me right – Shahrukh is married to a Sikh”

    Shah Rukh’s wife Gauri is a Hindu. It is Saif’s former wife Amrita Sing who was a Sikh.Recommend

  • James

    @Shah (Berlin):
    Read the report in Dawn News.The Pakistani players were happy with their accomadation.The ICC had agreed to shift them to Orissa cricket associaton clubhouse for security reasons,and not because hotels refused to put the team up.’“The ICC considered all options and the best security for the teams, and we have chosen to use the Barabati stadium club house.”as stated by their spokeswoman.Pakistan team manager Ayesha Ashar said the entire squad was happy with the arrangements made at the Barabati stadium.

    “The arrangements are more like we get in Pakistan,” Ashar was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.
    Its a pity that the Tribune did not give the whole storyRecommend

  • observer

    @I am a Khan:

    The point is that Shahrukh Khan became a star when he never cared about his muslim identity and all his fans in India were happy with him. BUT the moment SRK realised his muslim identity and made the movie My Name is Khan about the discrimination against muslims and started frequently speaking on this issue, he began losing his popularity. So the point is even a person of SRK’s fame is discriminated against, if he openly professes his Islamic faith. This is the issue which needs to be addressed.

    OK, Let us address it.

    A. India is a Secular State and so are Indians by and large.

    B. As long as Mr Khan was acting in a ‘secular’ fashion he was in tune with the ethos of India and Indians and he found greater acceptance.

    C. When he ‘realised his Muslim identity’ he also triggered the realisation of Hindu identity of others.

    D. I don’t think you can claim that while you have every right to realise your religious identity, the others must go on being without a religious identity of their own.

    E. The choice, from here onwards, is rather clear, you can be a secular icon of a secular India. Or you can be a Muslim icon af an Islamic ummah. I am not saying that Mr Khan has made this choice, but, if he has, then he should not worry too much about losing his secular followers.

    F.Historically we have already seen this in the case of Allama Iqbal who went from being the poet who wrote Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindostan Hamara, to being the ideologue of Pakistan. And Jinnah who turned from being the icon of Hindu Muslim unity to being THE champion of a theocratic state.

    G. To understand this better, let me put it this way,if a Pakistani star were to ‘realise his identity’ and were to join the SSP or ASWJ, you won’t expect his Shia followers to still follow him.

    That I think addresses your concern.Recommend

  • James

    @BlackJack:
    Dont Hindhus whine about being persecuted and discriminated in their own country.Or how muslim invaders slaughtered thousands in the past.Everyone has the right to complain or protest against percieved injustice.A muslim in Mumbai cannot buy an apartment in the location of his choice,because the builder will refuse to sell it to him.As one builder told me,if a muslim moves in ,the value of the building goes down,as Hindhus dont want to stay with muslim neighbourRecommend

  • James

    @Sudheer:
    Why did Dilip Kumar change his muslim name.As a muslim he would not have gone far in those times.Recommend

  • James

    @Milind:
    Aamir Khan is keeping quiet after his movie was banned in Gujarat.He had protested raising the height of the Narmada dam.SRK is married to a Hindhu,and his children are taught both religions.Hindhu deities along with the Koran are displayed in his house.Recommend

  • gp65

    @James: “@Sudheer:
    Why did Dilip Kumar change his muslim name.As a muslim he would not have gone far in those times.”

    For sure that was his worry. Though even in those times Naushad, Mohammed Rafi, Mehmood, Ustad Allah Rakha, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Begum Akhtar, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Nargis rose to the top in their respective fields without changing their names.Recommend

  • gp65

    @James: “@Milind:
    Aamir Khan is keeping quiet after his movie was banned in Gujarat.He had protested raising the height of the Narmada dam.”

    Right and was his movie banned because he was a Muslim or because he supported NBA which was againsy building of the Narmada dam that people of Gujarat – especially those in the seriously drought prone Nrthern Gujarat thought was there lifeline and due to which agricuture has been growing at the rate of 10% per annum compouneded for the last decade?

    I disagree with banning movies as a protest tactic per se and did not agree with Gujarat government then though I supported the Narmada dam. But this had nothing to with Aamir’s religion. All manner of starts both Hindus and Musilms have got into controversies from time to time and sadly they are soft targets. These are law and order issues and it is wrong o conflate the Amir issue with religion.

    “James “@BlackJack:
    Dont Hindhus whine about being persecuted and discriminated in their own country.Or how muslim invaders slaughtered thousands in the past.Everyone has the right to complain or protest against percieved injustice”

    Absolutely ShahRukh has right to freedom of speech. Who disputes that? However f his speech alienates his fans, they will vote with their wallet. He should be open to that as should any start of any faith.Recommend

  • Somesh
  • Sane

    @abhi:

    @Sane
    So pakistani are being treated badly in India. What are you going to do about it?

    We do not need to do anything. You are doing yourself to build your ‘image’. Shroud of ‘Secularism’ and ‘Democracy’ is now removed to see the real face of India.

    Please make a correction; every Muslim is treated badly in India whether Pakistani or Indian. Refer confessions by Shahrukh Khan, Shabana Azmi and many others.

    SHINING INDIA is now BLEEDING.Recommend

  • shahid al malik

    hey man you can not judge that who is Muslim and who is not Muslim. everyone have their own view and understanding. everything is allah know that and no one better known in human.
    so keep your view with u. shahrukh know better to answer all about.
    in-case shahrukh will come to pak then he is much unsecured then India. pak still very risky place there lot of terror are live their.Recommend

  • Milind

    @James – “Aamir Khan is keeping quiet after his movie was banned in Gujarat.He had protested raising the height of the Narmada dam”

    Exactly Aamir Khan’s movie was banned NOT because he was a Muslim, but because he put the Gujarat Govt in spot, by protesting against its scheme. It was pure political vendetta NOT any religious discrimination…. In fact Kishore Kumar and other Hindu actors/actresses too suffered after they ran afoul with the current establishment in India. Aamir Khan’s name is now added to that long list.

    Regarding SRK practicing both religions – I’m not convinced. I have no issues with anybody preaching their religion, but if other religions are run down to prove your point, then this needs to be fixed.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    gp65
    Why so? Your comments usually are very sensible. Do write more often
    .

    Several reasons:

    The quality of blogs has decreased
    somewhat. I don’t mean to discourage writers at all, but sometimes there isn’t much to debate about in the articles!
    The comments have also gone
    downhill. These days 90% of all
    comments are bitter Indian &
    Pakistani trolls going at each other
    ET takes 10 hours to publish a
    comment, that too after some
    questionable editing. How can one
    have a debate then? Why bother?

    I wonder if they’ll publish this?Recommend