Shah Rukh Khan has always remained in the spotlight even though he does not work on movies for a long time. He has made headlines for the wrong reasons on many occasions, including in 2013, when SRK spoke of ‘Muslims in India’, his statement caused a stir as many believed he did not feel safe in the country. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed even offered him asylum in their country if he feels insecure.
The case arose when SRK’s article for a local magazine titled ‘Being a Khan’ was published. In the published report, the Happy New Year star shared his views on being Muslim in the post-9/11 world.
In the first-person account for Outlook Turning Points magazine, Shah Rukh Khan wrote: “Sometimes I become the unintended object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of everything they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. … Meetings have been held where leaders have urged me to leave my home and return to what they call my ‘original homeland’.”
In response, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said: “He (Shah Rukh Khan) is Indian born and he would like to remain Indian but I will request the Government of India to please provide him with security and I would like to inform all Indian brothers and sisters all talking to shah rukh that they should know that he is a movie star he is loved as a star by the people of pakistan and he is loved by the people of india then why create some kind of hatred let we bring love’
India’s Home Secretary RK Singh ignored Malik’s advice: “We are quite capable of taking care of the security of our own citizens … let him (Malik) worry about the security of its own citizens.” Shiv Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut said: “The Indian government is able to protect its citizens. They (Pakistan) should not interfere in our internal affairs. Our government is not accountable to Pakistan.”
He added: “Pakistan (leaders) should instead look to protecting the minorities in their own country. They should pay attention to their business. They should protect temples, which are being demolished there by militant groups.”
On the other hand, Hafiz Saeed the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba asked Shah Rukh Khan to move to Pakistan if he feels insecure in India, he also said that the superstar “will enjoy all the freedom he wants in this country”. Saeed shared in an interview with Express TV: “Shah Rukh is welcome in Pakistan and he can live here as long as he wants.”
As the matter escalated, SRK said in a statement that the debate is nonsense, while speaking to the media in a press conference, the actor said: “I don’t even understand the basis of this controversy. Ironically, the article I wrote was – yes it was written by me – actually meant to reiterate that my existence as an indian muslim movie star is sometimes abused by bigoted and narrow-minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for very, very small gains… and ironically the same has happened again through this article .”
Shah Rukh Khan went on to say, “The reason for this is primarily… I think some people have not even read it and are responding to comments from people, who in turn have not read it either. So I beg all of you to read it first.Secondly, when you read it, nowhere does the article directly or indirectly state or suggest that I feel unsafe….restless or troubled in India.”
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