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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is SRK's Detention A Big Deal ?

Posted by: danish Ahmed 2:44 AM

Shahrukh Khan detained by authorities in Newark and all hell has broken loose since then! From man in the street to the Minister of External Affairs of State @shasitharoor, most Indians are outraged but some people around me, online as well as offline seem outraged by the outrage!

Of course, holding an opinion that contradicts general percepts is an essential trait of neo-conservative intellectualism. One cannot claim to be an intellectual that if s/he is found to harbour the same opinion that the more common segments of the society do. I myself have been guilty of that often so this is not aimed at anyone specific. Coming back to SRK issue, those apathetic towards it have a couple of very valid points:

  • Thousands of people are facing the same problem everyday, why call foul now that SRK has been subjected to the same treatment?
  • The second point is that SRK is taking advantage of the incident to publicize his forthcoming movie.

I have little doubt that the second allegation has some substance. SRK's initial statement that he was targetted because of his surname "Khan" sounds too conspicous to be a coincidence with the fact that the title of his latest movie is,"My name is Khan." In the age of social media, an incident that helps you your brand name go viral is nothing less than a dream come true. A shrewd buisnessman like SRK would undoubtedly exploit the issue for making loads of money and perhaps that is what he is doing.

However, this does not change the fact that US immigration policy is utterly discriminatory and unjust. Time and again Indian citizens and even Ministers have been subjected to discriminatory treatment. Post-9/11, the US has been following a number of security policies which have been termed as prejudiced, unethical and in some case (like Guantanamo Bay prison) inhumane. There are people who believe that these rules have helped US thwart more terror attacks on its soil but that is not quite true (I have discussed this in one of my previous posts)

All that it has given is a sense of estrangement and humilation among a large section of global population. Forget the common man, the list of Indian celebrities detained/stripped frisked include former President APJ Abul Kalam,the then Cabinet Minister George Fernandez, Wipro Chief Azim Premji, actors Aamir Khan, Kamal Hassan, Mamooty, Irrfan Khan and scores of less popular Indian celebrities. Background information on any of these individuals shouldnt be difficult to access. After all, these people virtually live under the gaze of the public! Let me reiterate the fact that i am not justifying VIP culture, all i am saying is that since all of these people are well-known, collecting background information about them shouldn't be difficult at all. Moreover, it is not just frisking and question-answer sessions, from what earlier victims have described, it is an interrogation which can leave any one distressed

These incidents merely reflect the arrogance that the US officials display when dealing with Asian visitors. Arrogance which has resulted in traumatic experience for people whose only fault consist in carrying a Muslim name. No sovereign nation with even an iota of national pride can afford to allow its citizen being mistreated on regular basis. Brazil in 2004 gave an apt response to US racial profiling policy by implementing a policy of finger-printing US nationals only!
I would conclude with the question which has been it the back of the mind ever since Kalam was frisked. Is Musharraf subject to the same treatment that India's former President and one of its most respected citizen.

13 comments :

AndyQuips said...

Too much of a coincidence i would say and not say anything more n glorify the sad state of affairs

zaina said...

salam :)

i agree with you. even muslims who were born and raised in America, those who hold US citizenship have to go thru the same procedure..imagine their plight when they are CITIZENS of the country..
how much fuss was made when the aussie indian doc was held at the ariport w/o any charge? and he was proved innocent? why didnt anyone condemn that in mass number? just b/c SRK is a celebrity doesnt mean he's above the law. in a way, it's good he had to go thru it. to make him realize he, like the rest of us is an 'aam admi'.

zaina said...

dont mind the typos lol

danishctc said...

Andy!
Spoken like a U-Kno-Wat ;) but thanks for the comment anyway :)

danishctc said...

ZAINA!!!!!!
w/salaam :)
Where do u disappear now and then ???
Wat happened? the last i knew u were a big SRK fan !!! :p
Newayz, how r u n howz fam.. fazal big n small :p ?

zaina said...

you didnt even respond to my comment, i think your more interested in knowing your commentators on a personal level lol

me, an srk fan? ok that was ages back. i was more of a zk (
zaheer khan) fan actually lol

danishctc said...

Zaina!
> knowing your commentators on a personal level lol

Ok ms commentator, gone r d dayz when debate in comment sectn used to b at least 10 times more than d post itself! N i have been 2 busy too :( but now dat u r here we can start again ;)
Talking of comments, r u in contact wid ruqi? I want d comments frm her marathon post! I can of course copy bt i want them legally!

Well reread 1 of ur own earliest comments in ruqi's blog, u did like srk like so many guyz n galz do! ;p
Howeva, Zaheer was ur personal ,i mean he doesnt have a huge fan followng n u had a "crush" on him, so it different ;)

Have u stoppd blogging completely? How r things (mail me) . Keep visitng :)

zaina said...

what marathon post are you talking about? see busybee's blog, i just commented on there..too lazy to write everything again lol
i know it was fun debating, actually chatting at o3 when evvryone was there. PG and Tanzy were hilarious lol but all good things come to an end. i have 2 kids and a house to look after now. cant afford to spend much time online.

zaina said...

ramadan kareen! make the most of it insha Allah! : )

Nasrajan said...

The event initially showed a ray of hope, that our ministry and media might do something so that it will be an end of suffering and insult for many unfortunate Asians.

The thought is real scary, especially being an Asian, Muslim and living in America. (But I was treated very gently, all the time I traveled around)

But, somehow this has turned out of proportion, where the words "Shahrukh detained" is stressed, and no good seems to be coming out of it.

Why should they not detain a Shahrukh Khan? Are there no criminals among film stars? :-) Who can vouch for that? :-)

danishctc said...

Zaina,
Ramadan Mubarak to u too, remember me in prayers, i don't do it myself :p I mean i dont ask much for myself :)

Now back to ur comment:
>what marathon post are you

Angel's woman in islam blog, it had nearly 1k comments n i don't think i have come across any other blog that has that many comments! Or course, the 6 of us spent nearly 6 months discussing it!

> about? see busybee's blog, i just
indiatimes is blocked from my office n my pc is down :( cant access it from phone eithr! o3 as a platform sucks big time!!!

> have 2 kids and a house to look

cant believe time has flown so fast!!! the 1st was a boy ri8? Fill me.... :)

danishctc said...

Nasrajan,

Good for u, that u havent had unpleasant experiences but as i said in the post, its simply unethical and oughta be opposed on principle.
But then again, according to ToI, SRK was detained mainly coz 2 his local contacts were on the watch list! Apparently 1 of them is a namesake of MQM leader!!!!
Duh! how lame can it get?! Wateva happened to the '6 degrees of separatn' concept ?

My final questn was do they frisk Musharraf or Bin Laden family/business accociates (GWB was 1 :p) or just the soft targets like Kalam?

Lesllie Tripaathhy said...

it was drama...to hype publicity for his movie..its a regular process,everybody goes thru the security check big time..and no exceptions for anyone...if the americans dont take precaution..then they cud b vulnerable to few more sept/11..

how childish of srk to freak out and seek attention