Superstar Shah Rukh Khan yesterday termed the controversy kicked up by Pakistan’s interior minister as “nonsense”. “To address this whole issue with regards to my article that has taken an unwarranted twist, I do not even understand the basis of this controversy. This is what can only be called nonsense. It is deja vu again,” he said.
Pak Interior Minister Rehman Malik
Speaking about the article that was at the centre of the controversy, Khan said, “The article I wrote was actually meant to reiterate that on some occasions my being an Indian Muslim film star is misused by bigots and narrow minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for small gains. And ironically, the same has happened through this article, once again.”
‘Move to Pak’
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik had on Monday said that India should provide security to Shah Rukh Khan, wading into a controversy triggered by Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed stating that the star could move to Pakistan following his comments on being a Muslim. Saeed had said Khan could move to Pakistan if he does not feel safe in India after the superstar gave a first person account for Outlook Turning Points magazine, published in association with The New York Times newspaper.
However Khan clarified, “Being an Indian is an unconditional truth of my life. I think some of the people have not even read it and are reacting to comments of people, who in turn have also not read it,” he said. “I implore everyone here to read the article and convey through your respective mediums of communications all the good things that it expresses to youngsters and my fellow Indians,” he added.
Khan said that the feelings expressed in the article are heartfelt and are extremely important aspect of his life. “The article is an appreciation of love that all of you have bestowed upon me and also a point of view from my being a father of two young children,” he said.
Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh, one of Bollywood's more articulate personalities, had written in Outlook Turning Points magazine, published in association with The New York Times: "I sometimes become the 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."
"There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country - this even though I am an Indian, whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave and return what they refer to my original homeland," added the 47-year-old star.
He went on say that he became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist, "who co-incidentally carries the same name as mine that I made a film subtly titled 'My Name Is Khan' (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point".
"Ironically, I was interrogated at the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to promote the film in America for the first time," he said.