Mumbai: Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has run into a controversy after he demanded that India provides security to actor Shah Rukh Khan. This came after Khan wrote a first-person account of what it means to be a Muslim post 9/11. "He (Shahrukh) is born Indian and he would like to remain Indian, but I will request the government of India to please provide him security and I would like to request all Indian brothers and sisters who are all talking against Shah Rukh that they should know 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 to create some kind of hate, let's bring love," Malik said.
"There is an Islam from Allah and I am not being anti, very unfortunately, there is an Islam from the Mullahs. I appeal to all of them to please give the youngsters, the right reading of the Quran," Shah Rukh Khan had said back in 2008. Five years later, Khan has raised similar points and eyebrows with his essay for the special edition of Outlook Turning Points publication on what it means to be a Khan in India.
The actor wrote, "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 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."
Shah Rukh Khan also wrote about his decision to make 'My Name Is Khan'. "I became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist who coincidentally carries the same last name of 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 present the film in America for the first time."
Filmmaker Deepa Mehta and author Salman Rushdie, who have faced protests in reaction to their works in the past, shared their views on Khan's comments. "Artists have always been soft targets," Deepa Mehta said. "I have come to realise that not everyone will like your work and I'm okay with that," Rushdie added.
Perhaps why Shah Rukh Khan has declined many offers to return to what they refer to as his "orginal homeland."
"Of course, I politely decline each time, citing such pressing reasons as sanitation works at my house preventing me from taking the good shower that's needed before undertaking an extensive journey. I don't know how long this excuse will hold," Khan wrote.