Update (04-Jan): Speaking in London where he is promoting his movie My Name is Khan, Shah Rukh Khan today said:
“I don’t know what the issue is all about…I don’t know what I am supposed to retract. Am I supposed to retract the fact I’m an Indian but I don’t want anyone to come to my country. What all that I’ve said is that I would like people to come to my country to participate in the biggest event and it scarce me to say anything because our stakes are very high. I have no idea what people would like me to say. If somebody could tell me this is what you would want me to say, I’ll say it. What all I have been taught by my father who was a freedom fighter for this country is wrong and my kids are steering wrong. It’s not a stand or a statement against anyone. It’s actually a sort of what I individually feel and normally when a film is releasing-to be really honest and I wouldn’t comment on it on a larger scale because it’s not nice when a Hindi film hero who is thought of as an icon, to say this. I am really sorry. I would like to apologise Karan Johar, to Kajol and I am immensely sorry to all our business partners that because of what I said, or what I believe in, their film and their work is going to be affected.”Karan Johar, producer and director of the film and co-star Kajol were present. (source)
We’ll Watch Your Movie Twice
There are limits to political hooliganism. The two ‘political’ gangs of Mumbai- Shiv Sena and Maharastra Navanirman Sena- have crossed those limits more than once. The Indian state and its much revered Democracy are mute spectators of the Sena anarchy. It is shameful that the Senas have taken the city of Mumbai hostage and rest of India is unable to do anything. So much with the super-power dream of new India.
I am not an Indian but as an admirer of Indian democracy, lover of Indian movies and songs and observer of Indian politics, I find the Shiv Sena’s latest threat to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan absolutely preposterous and downright condemnable. So many other people, inside India and outside, share the same feeling. Yet, as of today, Khan finds himself virtually isolated. No one, not even from his own film industry, is daring to speak for him who expressed nothing but truth while commenting upon the recent IPL fiasco. Khan had recently regretted publicly saying that it was humiliating for him as an IPL team owner that no Pakistani cricketers was taken by any of the teams despite the fact that several talented Pakistani players were up for auction. He also praised the Pakistani cricket team, current T20 world champions, as being, well, the world champions.
I see nothing wrong with that. The Shiva Sena sees nothing right in that. They feel the actor shouldn’t have praised Pakistani players and expressed regret over their exclusion from the tournament because, according to them, it’s a matter of patriotism. Now the Sena is demanding that Khan should either retract from his statement (apologize) or go to Pakistan, as in leaving India for good. As if India belonged exclusively to the Thackeray clan and their goons at the Senas.
It is clear why Shiv Sena is targeting Shah Rukh. Shah Rukh Khan, the mega star of Indian film industry, is a Muslim. Shiva Sena, who plays the politics of Marathi Manoos, is a right-wing ultra-Hindutva outfit. That is the sole reason for the latest Sena outrage against Khan who has the right, constitutionally speaking, to say what he said in Indian democracy. The Sena’s act is clearly an example of religious chauvinism and highhandedness. Look at this statement by Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, a former speaker of Indian parliament: Continue reading