Published On:02 February 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

The recent Shah Rukh Khan controversy and being a Muslim in India

By Shaik Zakeer Hussain

Islam came to India in 7th–8th century, so Islam in India, is as old as Islam’s existence. Around 19% of population in India is Muslim, and this population, at least the majority of it, are people whose ancestors converted to Islam. Yet time and again, Muslims in India, have to prove that they are Indians to their majority counterparts. It is as though our only role is to convince this nation, that we did not cross the Khyber pass to get here, we have always been here, just like the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and adherents of other religions have.

In an article titled ‘Being a Khan’ published by U.S based Outlook Turning Point magazine, ShahRukh Khan, perhaps India’s most famous name had written, “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 neighboring 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 my home and return to what they refer to as my “original homeland”.”

Khan was referring to him having a Muslim name, and living in India, where the majority are Hindus, and how he, despite being a Bollywood superstar, and mobbed by people of every religion ‘with love and apparent adulation’ had been reminded several times of an alien element in him, which makes him, along with millions of others who carry this element, pariahs.

I am not a ShahRukh Khan ‘fan’, and I would only be honest, to tell the readers that there might be very little in common between me and him, nevertheless, when I read his article, I was heartfelt for its sheer honesty, and its profound sensitivity, though there is a lot in it, that I would disagree with. And I was sure, any sensible person would feel the same way, at least he or she would not feel that, he was trying to play the ‘Muslim card politics’ or was being ‘unpatriotic’. But that is too much to expect, in a country, where riots break out, for a petty reason that a person belonging to one community does not pays for his meal, in a restaurant owned by another.

One of the first articles to attack him was published by FirstPost, it was disturbingly titled ‘King of Victimhood: Shah Rukh Khan bites the hand that fed him‘. Disturbingly, because it somehow conforms the notion that Muslims are pariahs in this country, and inadvertently tells us that, Muslims should never speak their hearts, irrespective of the reality we live in.

“So, grow up, Shah Rukh, and learn to take it on the chin like a man. Don’t bite the hand that fed you – and made you who you are – by running off to an overseas publication and crying your heart out…”

Social media erupted with slurs against him, and how Muslims always cry being a victim in India, many right wing leaders had similar things to say. Adding to the heat was Pakistan’s interior minister, who has done next to nothing to stop his government’s ally, the USA from bombing its innocent citizen day in and day out, but played his dirty politics, by advising “India should provide security to SRK.”

Shah Rukh Khan may not be a victim, in fact he is one of the few privileged ones in this country, but there are scores of others, who are stigmatized for being a Muslim in this country, thousands of everyday men and women, who have to prove their credibility, every debate, every article, every speech related to Muslims in this country, always centers around this subject, how long will it continue, how long, before everyone in this country realizes that, Muslims in this country, did not cross the Khyber pass to get here.

[Shaik Zakeer Hussain is an independent writer, and edits Mashaal - News and Analysis on Indian Muslims. He can be contacted at projectmashaal@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on February 02, 2013. Filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on February 02, 2013. Filed under , , , , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

1 comments for "The recent Shah Rukh Khan controversy and being a Muslim in India"

  1. It is a psychological warfare hindus have been waging
    against the muslims since 1947. Sardar Patel, hero of right wingers, was the first one to suggest that the muslims have to prove their loyalty.This has become the mantra for hindus. Interestingly, the spies selling nations' secrets to foreign governments, are all loyal hindus. Although muslims make up large portion of India's population, sometimes hindus even pretend there are no muslims in the country. I have met hindus overseas and when I tell them I am from India they automatically assume I must be a hindu which is annoying. By and large hindus, with some exception, are not liberal. Sunil Dutt, late film actor, used to say that there may be 100 genuine secular hindus, otherwise scratch the surface and you will discover hindu mahsabhai. Always keep in mind that they have discriminated against the fellow hindus of lower caste and never had the second thought till Gandhi focused attention on the issue to placate Dr. Ambedkar who threatened to convert to Budhism enmass. In fact he himself did. Unfortunately the main stream media has worked hard to create bad image of muslims as terrorists. It is ridiculous to claim that " all terrorists are muslims". What about the terroristic incidents admitted by Swami Aseem Annand in place like Hybrabad mosque, Ajmer Dargah, cemetary in Malegaon,etc.
    What about hindu terrorism in Sri Lanka for 20 years who really
    invented suicide bombing including assassination of Rajeev Gandhi. What about Catholic IRA in N. Ireland? They carried out bombings all over U.K. What about terrorism of Jewish groups like Irgun, Stern Gang( included Ariel Sharon and Machem Begin who became Prime ministers) against the British to hand over Palestine to them?

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