Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Shah Rukh Khan: ‘Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani’

Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested on drug consumption charges on October 3rd by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).  If the 23-year-old youngster was actually doing drugs on that cruise then I say let the law take its own course. I don’t want to comment any further other than saying may the truth prevail soon.

For the last three weeks I have been reading and listening to the news. And seeing SRK being targeted makes me sad. More than anything I feel for the mega superstar i.e. King Khan. As India’s most popular Muslim, with 3.5 billion global followers as one estimate puts it, fights to save his son, it’s clear why SRK’s ability to make Indians believe in the power of love might be regarded as a threat in today’s India. What else does he have as an actor otherwise?

But, what I want to say today is Shah Rukh Khan doesn’t deserve trial by media, he has nothing to prove, he has proved himself. He will remain Baadshah no matter what. If he is being held responsible as a father for his son’s addiction then the minister whose son allegedly mowed down protesting farmers is equally responsible (a ruling party leader’s son allegedly ran over protesting farmers with his SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP, this too happened on October 3rd). If SRK is being hounded for his son’s misdeed so should the minister, if SRK’s son is being held then so should that minister’s son be behind bars don’t you think?

For me SRK is synonymous with films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Chak De, My Name is Khan, Swadesh, Dear Zindagi,  and Jab Tak Hai Jaan, (every fan will have their own fave SRK film list) he stands for multi-culturalism and love. Love for another human being. He stands for my ‘Idea of India’ that I would want to leave behind for my kid.

Hence, today I want to write about SRK, for me he is and will remain the best example we have for the ‘Idea of India’ that we all grew up with and that which is being systematically dismantled. He came from nowhere, made a place for himself in a difficult land like Bollywood, rose to superstardom and the brand that he is. He has a Hindu wife who did not convert, has kids whose names do not denote any particular religion. In an interview he had said that Aryan can recite the Gayatri mantra and does pooja on Diwali. SRK had a difficult childhood, as his father Meer Taj Mohammed Khan, passed away when the actor was just a 15-year-old teenager, was a lawyer by profession. He was also a part of the Quit India movement and was reportedly one of the youngest freedom fighters, his mother died when he was 26. SRK had dreamt to make a home beside the sea in Mumbai one day over which he will rule and fulfilled it by acquiring ‘Mannat’. It’s heartening to see his fans standing outside Mannat in solidarity with him. He made it to the top on his own without a godfather. In this entire episode why is his nationalism being questioned? Why his and his wife parenting style is being questioned?Is there a rule book by which parenting should be done? Who can say what is bad or good parenting?

Also are parents responsible solely for the actions of an adult child? Honestly, does every parent of adult children know what their children are up to? Sanjay Dutt was another problem child of Bollywood but was his father Sunil Dutt hounded like this was he asked to apologise? Sunil Dutt went on to fight and win elections so did his sister PriyaDutt. My point is why is this hounding of Shah Rukh Khan happening? Let him be, he is ananguished parent right now.

But I want to ask this; is this hounding and trolling happening because of his surname? I remember what Aamir Khan had said a few years back –about the growing intolerance in India and that his wife Kiran feared to live in India and that they should think of moving out of India. It’s been a long journey since then. But, was he wrong? Look at how the Ceattyres ad which advises people not to burn crackers on the road featuring him is being trolled. This just after the FabIndia controversy.Where is all this leading to, what have we become? I don’t know this intolerant India.

Meanwhile as a common citizen of this country I would like to know what is being done about the minister’s son who allegedly mowed down farmers. And what is happening in the 3000 kg drug haul case at a port?

While I am writing this, a new twist to the Aryan Khan’s saga is being reported on social media. The truth will come out sooner than later I am sure. But my respect for SRK will not diminish no matter what, he is the superstar of my generation, maybe one of the last superstars India sees. And, I am sure once this terrible incident is behind him he will still be singing ‘Phirbhidilhai Hindustani’. But what I am worried about is the India that he represents is fast disappearing and I find the new India alien.

(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)

Smita Singh is a freelance writer who has over 17 years of experience in the field of print media, publishing, and education. Having worked with newspapers like The Times of India (as freelancer), National Mail, DainikBhaskar and DB Post, she has also worked with Rupa& Co, a book publishing house and edited over 30 books in all genres.

She has worked with magazines like Discover India and websites called HolidayIQ and Hikezee (now Go Road Trip). She has also written for Swagat (former in-flight magazine of Air India), Gatirang (magazine of MarutiUdyog), India Perspectives (magazine for Ministry of External Affairs) and Haute Wheels (magazine of Honda).

After turning freelance writer she wrote on art and architecture for India Art n Design. She also worked for Princeton Review as a full-time Admissions Editor and then IDP Education Private Limited as an Application Support Consultant. Smita has her own website called bookaholicanonymous.com which supports her love for books and reading!

You can reach her at: [email protected]

(Picture collage with images from the net)

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