Shah Rukh may have christened himself King Khan, but he's more aptly the King of Controversy. His comments in an interview about his identity as a Muslim in India have created quite a storm with terror leaders, foreign ministers and Indian authorities all having something to say. What started it all though?
What the article said
The article was published in Outlook Turning Points and SRK touched upon several areas.
Khan said that his surname often made him an "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."
He also added that "there have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighboring nation rather than my own country - this even though I am an Indian, whose father fought for the freedom of India."
Commenting on his link-up with Pakistan, the Khan said, "rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave and return what they refer to my original homeland."
On naming his kids, he wrote, "I gave my son and daughter names that could pass for generic (pan-India and pan-religious) ones - Aryan and Suhana. The Khan has been bequeathed by me so they can't really escape it."
He said he was tired of being mistaken for the terrorist "who coincidentally carries the same name as mine. I made a film subtly titled 'My Name Is Khan'
(and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point."
Reactions to Shah Rukh's interview
The article gave terror wing Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) head Hafiz Saeed a chance to take a dig at India. The terrorist invited Shah Rukh to move to Pakistan if he felt so 'insecure' in India.
Adding to his list of well-wishers across the border, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik advised India to provide adequate security for the actor. He said SRK was born in India and would like to remain Indian. He added that India- Pakistan should join to fight this extremism.
The Indian government was quick to retort that Malik should concentrate on securing its own citizens, since India was very capable of looking after its own. "We are quite capable of taking care of the security of our citizens. They (Pakistan) don't need to worry about it," Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said Pakistan should worry about its own people, and Malik should not interfere in India's internal matters. "Even when Pakistani artists come here, we provide security to them. Muslims are most safe in India", he added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party dismissed Pakistan's demand for Shah Rukh's security as 'uncalled for and unacceptable'. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Pakistan should be worried about its minorities and not about India's. We are a secular country. Shah Rukh Khan should refrain from such comments."
Nevertheless the Mumbai police have said that SRK's security arrangements have been reviewed and that they will continue to provide the actor with protection.
As for King Khan himself, a source close to the actor said that he was upset with Saeed's invitation and reiterated that he was one of the most secular actors around.
A floodgate of reactions on social networks
Predictably, SRK's comments opened a floodgate of reactions on social networking sites. Tweeters in particular, were quick to comment on the matter. Here are some funny, angry and emotional tweets...
KING KHAN LOVER @pinkpariofsrk
All SRKians from all over the world supports you bcoz u r always right and u have a good heart and a good human being. #WeStandBySRK @iamsrk
The Bad Doctor @doctoratlarge
Dear Shah Rukh Khan, have you considered that people who hate you don't do so because u're a Muslim, but because you're needlessly arrogant?
Meanwhile, Karan Johar has said he is Standing Firmly Behind Shah Rukh Khan
Rohit Shroff @shroff_rohit
Is Pakistan trying to troll India by asking to provide security for Shah Rukh Khan?
Madhavan Narayanan @madversity
Shah Rukh Khan is not Ahmediya, Shia, Baloch or Mohajir. Which must explain why Hafeez Saeed what he said.
Rofl Indian @Roflindian
Shah Rukh Khan a victim? Nonsense. Shilpa Shetty, Kajol and Juhi Chawla were the victims.
Angry Bombay Girl @shadymumbai
Lets not Anger Shah Rukh Khan ...Else he will take his revenge by signing up as a College Kid named Rahul for his Next 10 movies
“@snehal_gandhi: Why is Shah Rukh Khan trending? Has he finally apologised to the world for releasing Ra.One? :-p” #LOL
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