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Monday, August 17, 2009

The Shah Rukh Khan Incident

If Indian officials stopped, say, Tom Hanks at the New Delhi airport and grilled him for an hour or two because of national security concerns, Americans might find it ridiculous and outrageous. Which is just how Indians feel about the detention and questioning at Newark Airport of Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan, who was on his way to Chicago for an Indian Independence Day parade.
Searches on Khan—or SRK as he is familiarly known—increased 800% on Saturday, and the Buzz filled with articles about the contretemps. The story is front page news in India, sitting atop the Yahoo! India home page much of Sunday and meriting several above-the-fold articles and an online forum titled "Is the U.S. unduly harsh to those with Muslim names?" in The Times of India. Headlines from Indian news accounts include "My name is Khan? Too bad. SRK feels the heat of American paranoia," "I was harassed for no reason: SRK,"and "I don't feel like stepping into the US again, says King Khan." Meanwhile, the actor's fans protested what some characterize as humiliating treatment by burning a U.S. flag, and an Indian cabinet minister suggested subjecting visiting Americans to reciprocally inconvenient treatment.
For its part, US Customs says Khan was detained only 66 minutes, which lasted that long only because he and his luggage didn't arrive on the same flight. After initially expressing outrage, Khan—who recently finished shooting a film about, ironically, an Indian victim of racial profiling in the U.S.—said of the incident, "I think it's a procedure that needs to be followed, but an unfortunate procedure."

The article above is from the Yahoo! homepage in the featured section.


I do feel bad about anybody with a Muslim name being detained, like in the case of the unfortunate incident with SRK, but why is there so much of noise around it? What if it was a regular unknown person, would anyone be fretting like this? Let's face it, he is not like a national hero or something, he is just a film actor who gets famous because we make him famous, he is what he is today because of us, and of course a bit of luck too...I think Indian people should calm down and just think of it from American immigration's perspective. They don't have anything against SRK but they are cautious against terrorism and trying to protect their country. Us Indians would have done the same thing. Don't we have restrictions against some of our neighboring countries? Cool it guys, its not that he was put behind bars unreasonably. If Immigration folks feel they need to question someone, I think they have every right to be cautious.

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