Tag Archives: Terrorist

Shah Rukh Khan’s article in Outlook: King Khan’s punches to Pakistan’s reaction

30 Jan

Shah Rukh Khan's article in OutlookThe article ‘Being a Khan’ by Bollywood superstart Shah Rukh Khan appeared in the magazine Outlook Turining Points(The Global Agenda 2013). In the article King Khan wrote his heart out by explainig the controversies and incidents he unessarily get dragged into just because of his last name being ‘Khan’. The article doesne’t seem to have anything to trigger any communal controversy but unfortunately has been picked up by Pakistani leaders for all the wrong reasons. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik reacted to the article by saying “I will request the government of India to please provide him security”. Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed whom India considers as one of its most wanted terrorists, went a step further and asked Shah Rukh Khan to move to Pakistan if he does not feel safe in India. While these replies from across the border were not necessary, Shah Rukh Khan finally came out in public and replied back strongly to the Pakistani leader’s comments and rightly justified his position as a true and patriotic Indian.

Here is the article by Shah Rukh as published in the Outlook Magzine:

Being a Khan

I am an actor. Time does not frame my days with as much conviction as images do. Images rule my life. Moments and memories imprint themselves on my being in the form of the snapshots that I weave into my expression. The essence of my art is the ability to create images that resonate with the emotional imagery of those watching them.

I am a Khan. The name itself conjures multiple images in my mind too: a strapping man riding a horse, his reckless hair flowing from beneath a turban tied firm around his head. His ruggedly handsome face marked by weathered lines and a distinctly large nose.

A stereotyped extremist; no dance, no drink, no cigarette tipping off his lips, no monogamy, no blasphemy; a fair, silent face beguiling a violent fury smoldering within. A streak that could even make him blow himself up in the name of his God. Then there is the image of me being shoved into a back room of a vast American airport named after an American president (another parallel image: of the president being assassinated by a man named lee, not a Muslim thankfully, nor Chinese as some might imagine! I urgently shove the image of the room out of my head).

Some stripping, frisking and many questions later, I am given an explanation (of sorts): “Your name pops up on our system, we are sorry”. “So am I,” I think to myself, “Now can I have my underwear back please?” Then, there is the image I most see, the one of me in my own country: being acclaimed as a megastar, adored and glorified, my fans mobbing me with love and apparent adulation.

I am a Khan.

I could say I fit into each of these images: I could be a strapping six feet something – ok something minus, about three inches at least, though I don’t know much about horse-riding. A horse once galloped off with me flapping helplessly on it and I have had a “no horse-riding” clause embedded in my contracts ever since.

I am extremely muscular between my ears, I am often told by my kids, and I used to be fair too, but now I have a perpetual tan or as I like to call it ‘olive hue’ – though deep In the recesses of my armpits I can still find the remains of a fairer day. I am handsome under the right kind of light and I really do have a “distinctly large” nose. It announces my arrival in fact, peeking through the doorway just before I make my megastar entrance. But my nose notwithstanding, my name means nothing to me unless I contextualize it.

Stereotyping and contextualizing is the way of the world we live in: a world in which definition has become central to security. We take comfort in defining phenomena, objects and people – with a limited amount of knowledge and along known parameters. The predictability that naturally arises from these definitions makes us feel secure within our own limitations.

We create little image boxes of our own. One such box has begun to draw its lid tighter and tighter at present. It is the box that contains an image of my religion in millions of minds.

I encounter this tightening of definition every time moderation is required to be publicly expressed by the Muslim community in my country. Whenever there is an act of violence in the name of Islam, I am called upon to air my views on it and dispel the notion that by virtue of being a Muslim, I condone such senseless brutality. I am one of the voices chosen to represent my community in order to prevent other communities from reacting to all of us as if we were somehow colluding with or responsible for the crimes committed in the name of a religion that we experience entirely differently from the perpetrators of these crimes.

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”. Of course, I politely decline each time, citing such pressing reasons as sanitation words at my house preventing me from taking the good shower that’s needed before undertaking such an extensive journey. I don’t know how long this excuse will hold though.

I gave my son and daughter names that could pass for generic (pan-Indian and pan-religious) ones: Aryan and Suhana. The Khan has been bequeathed by me so they can’t really escape it. I pronounce it from my epiglottis when asked by Muslims and throw the Aryan as evidence of their race when non-Muslims enquire.

I imagine this will prevent my offspring from receiving unwarranted eviction orders and random fatwas in the future. It will also keep my two children completely confused. Sometimes, they ask me what religion they belong to and, like a good Hindi movie hero, I roll my eyes up to the sky and declare philosophically, “You are an Indian first and your religion is humanity”, or sing them an old Hindi film ditty, “Tu Hindu banega na Musalmaan banega – insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega” set to Gangnam Style.

None of this informs them with any clarity, it just confounds them some more and makes them deeply wary of their father.

In the land of the freed, where I have been invited on several occasions to be honored, I have bumped into ideas that put me in a particular context. I have had my fair share of airport delays for instance.

I became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist who coincidentally carries the same last 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 present the film in America for the first time. I wonder, at times, whether the same treatment is given to everyone whose last name just happens to be McVeigh (as in Timothy)??

I don’t intend to hurt any sentiments, but truth be told, the aggressor and taker of life follows his or her own mind. It has to nothing to do with a name, a place or his/her religion. It is a mind that has its discipline, its own distinction of right from wrong and its own set of ideologies. In fact, one might say, it has its own “religion”. This religions has nothing to do with the ones that have existed for centuries and been taught in mosques or churches. The call of the azaan or the words of the pope have no bearing on this person’s soul. His soul is driven by the devil. I, for one, refuse to be contextualized by the ignorance of his ilk.

I am a Khan.

I am neither six-feet-tall nor handsome (I am modest though) nor am I a Muslim who looks down on other religions. I have been taught my religion by my six-foot-tall, handsome Pathan ‘Papa’ from Peshawar, where his proud family and mine still resides. He was a member of the no-violent Pathan movement called Khudai Khidamatgaar and a follower of both Gandhiji and Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, who was also known as the Frontier Gandhi.

My first learning of Islam from him was to respect women and children and to uphold the dignity of every human being. I learnt that the property and decency of others, their points of view, their beliefs, their philosophies and their religions were due as much respect as my own and ought to be accepted with an open mind. I learnt to believe in the power and benevolence of Allah, and to be gentle and kind to my fellow human beings, to give of myself to those less privileged than me and to live a life full of happiness, joy, laughter and fun without impinging on anybody else’s freedom to live in the same way.

So I am a Khan, but no stereotyped image is factored into my idea of who I am. Instead, the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians. I have felt this love for the last 20 years regardless of the fact that my community is a minority within the population of India. I have been showered with love across national and cultural boundaries, from Suriname to Japan and Saudi Arabia to Germany, places where they don’t even understand my language. They appreciate what I do for them as an entertainer – that’s all. My life has led me to understand and imbibe that love is a pure exchange, untempered by definition and unfettered by the narrowness of limiting ideas. If each one of us allowed ourselves the freedom to accept and return love in its purity, we would need no image boxes to hold up the walls of our security.

I believe that I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience the magnitude of such a love, but I also know that its scale is irrelevant. In our own small ways, simply as human beings, we can appreciate each other for how touch our lives and not how our different religions or last names define us.

Beneath the guise of my superstardom, I am an ordinary man. My Islamic stock does not conflict with that of my Hindu wife’s. The only disagreements I have with Gauri concern the color of the walls in our living room and not about the locations of the walls demarcating temples from mosques in India.

We are bringing up a daughter who pirouettes in a leotard and choreographs her own ballets. She sings western songs that confound my sensibilities and aspires to be an actress. She also insists on covering her head when in a Muslim nation that practices this really beautiful and much misunderstood tenet of Islam.

Our son’s linear features proclaim his Pathan pedigree although he carries his own, rather gentle mutations of the warrior gene. He spends all day either pushing people asie at rugby, kicking some butt at Tae Kwon Do or eliminating unknown faces behind anonymous online gaming handles around the world with The Call of Duty video game. And yet, he firmly admonishes me for getting into a minor scuffle at the cricket stadium in Mumbai last year because some bigot make unsavory remarks about me being a Khan.

The four of us make up a motley representation of the extraordinary acceptance and validation that love can foster when exchanged within the exquisiteness of things that are otherwise defined ordinary.

For I believe, our religion is an extremely personal choice, not a public proclamation of who we are. It’s as person as the spectacles of my father who passed away some 20 years ago. Spectacles that I hold onto as my most prized and personal possession of his memories, teachings and of being a proud Pathan. I have never compared those with my friends, who have similar possessions of their parents or grandparents. I have never said my father’s spectacles are better than your mother’s saree. So why should we have this comparison in the matter of religion, which is as personal and prized a belief as the memories of your elders. Why should not the love we share be the last word in defining us instead of the last name? It doesn’t take a superstar to be able to give love, it just takes a heart and as far as I know, there isn’t a force on this earth that can deprive anyone of theirs.

I am a Khan, and that’s what it has meant being one, despite the stereotype images that surround me. To be a Khan has been to be loved and love back – that the promise that virgins wait for me somewhere on the other side.

Shah Rukh Khan

Here is how some Pakistani leaders reacted to Shah Rukh Khan’s article:

 

 

Here is how Shah Rukh reacted to all the drama created by misinterpretation of his article:

According to me, all our lives we are defined by three identities. Two of which are fortunately acquired by birth  and are a matter of unconditional love and acceptance. The first identity is acquired by where one is born. Our Motherland. That defines us. So foremost all of us here like me are proud Indians. Second the family name and upbringing that our parents give us. Mine is Khan, like some of us here. I am very proud of my parents, like all of us are here. I love them unconditionally. The third is the profession we choose that defines us. By some quirk of fate I am a celebrity… a public figure in the fields of art and media. Like most of us are here today.

As I said being an Indian and my parents’ child is an unconditional accepted truth of my life and I am very proud of both. The third… being a public figure makes me open to any kind of questioning, adjectives good and bad and or  sometimes makes me an object  of controversy  as people  use my name and statements to attach any positive or negative sentiment to it. I accept all the above  because this is the life I chose and will stand by it.  I am what I am, because of the love and admiration that comes with being who I am in my profession…so I thank everyone for making me the star I am.

Now 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.

Ironically the article I wrote (yes it’s written by me) 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.

The reason for this primarily is….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. So I implore you all to first read it. Second if you read it, nowhere does the article state or imply  directly or indirectly that I feel unsafe….troubled or disturbed in India.

It does not even vaguely say that I am ungrateful for the love that I have received in a career spanning 20 years. On the contrary the article only says that in spite of bigoted thoughts of some of the people that surround us….I am untouched by scepticism  because of the love I have received by my countrymen and women.

I will paraphrase the beginning and the end of the article to clarify and substantiate my stand. “Then, there is the image I most see, the one of me in my own country: being acclaimed as a megastar, adored and glorified, my fans mobbing me with love and apparent adulation..So I am a Khan, but no stereotyped image is factored into my idea of who I am. Instead, the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians. I have felt this love for the last 20 years regardless of the fact that my community is a minority within the population of India. I have been showered with love across national and cultural boundaries, they appreciate what I do for them as an entertainer – that’s all. My life has led me to understand and imbibe that love is a pure exchange, untempered by definition and unfettered by the narrowness of limiting ideas. Sometimes, they ask me what religion they belong to and, like a good Hindi movie hero, I roll my eyes up to the sky and declare philosophically, “you are an Indian first and your religion is Humanity”, or sing them an old Hindi film ditty, “tu hindu banega na musalmaan banega – insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega” set to Gangnam style. Why should not the love we share be the last word in defining us instead of the last name? It doesn’t take a superstar to be able to give love, it just takes a heart and as far as i know, there isn’t a force on this earth that can deprive anyone of theirs. I am a Khan, and that’s what it has meant being one, despite the stereotype images that surround me. To be a Khan has been to be loved and love back….”

Please 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. It is a heartfelt and extremely important aspect of my life, 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.

I would like to tell all those who are offering me unsolicited advice that we in India are extremely safe and happy. We have an amazing democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environs that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life or material. As a matter of fact it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue. With respect I would like to say to anyone who is interpreting my views and offering advice regarding them, please read what I have written first.

Also some of the views that I have been made to read are just an extension of soft targeting celebs and creating an atmosphere of emotional outbursts and divisiveness based on religion…in the minds of some. I implore everyone to understand, that my article is against exactly this kind of giving in to propaganda and aggressiveness. Lets not be misled by tools which use religion as an anchor for unrest and a policy of divide and rule.

I would also like to add here, that my profession as an actor makes me, liked beyond the borders of my nation and culture. The hugs and love that I am showered upon by Nationalities all around the world, make me safe all over the globe, and my safety has genuinely never been a matter of concern to me…and so it should not be a matter of concern to anyone else either.

We are all educated and patriotic people. We do not have to prove that time and again because of divisive politics of a few. My own family and friends, are like a mini India…where all religions, professions and a few wrongs included, all are treated with tolerance and understanding and regard for each other. I only sell love…love that I have got from millions of Indians and non Indians….and  stand indebted to my audience in my country and around the world. It is sad that I have to say it to prove it, in my country, which my father fought for, during the Independence struggle.

That’s my piece and having said all this…I would like to request all of you present here….that henceforth ask me questions regarding….my next movie. The songs that I have recorded. The release date of my film. The heroines cast in it. The Toiffa awards in Vancouver, because I am an actor and maybe I should just stick to stuff that all of you expect me to have a viewpoint on. The rest of it…maybe I don’t have the right kind of media atmosphere to comment on. So I will refrain from it.

And please if you can…put all I have said on your channels, or mediums of communication, in the exact same light as I have said it and meant it in. 24 hrs of unrequired controversy is more than enough for all of us I assume. So do not sensationalize and hence trivialize matters of national interest and  religion any further and drag a movie actor  in the middle of it all…and let me  get back to doing what I do best….making movies.

Is Shah Rukh Khan's article controversial?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Vishwaroopam: Anti-Muslim or Muslim’s Pride

29 Jan

Vishwaroopam movie wallpaperIn yet another religious controversy over a film, the Tamil Nadu government has banned the screen of Vishwaroopam in the state by fifteen days from the original scheduled date. Allegations have been made by various Islamic organizations which include the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK) stating that the movie is trying to project Indian Muslims as terrorists. TMMK says that it “targets Muslims and their beliefs”. The protesters even burned the posters of the movie and shoe-slapped Kamal Haasan’s images in front of his office in Chennai. TMMK leader Jawahirullah said “There is a danger that the public may view any Muslim with a beard as a terrorist waiting for an opportunity to plant a bomb.” Apart from Tamil Nadu, the movie also suffered protest in Andhra Pradhesh, Karnataka and Kerala. In Malaysia and Sri Lanka the film was removed out of theatres, citing the ban in Tamil Nadu.

Protest against Vishwaroopam in Chennai, India

Protest against Vishwaroopam in Chennai, India

 

The question we Indians have on our mind, is this movie really portraying bad image of Indian Muslim brothers? From the trailers of the movie it looks like the movie is focused around Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The terrorists in the movies are the Taliban and the Jihadis, not the Indian Muslims. Are those protesters on the streets agreeing with the agenda of Taliban and Al-Qaeda who kill innocent people in the name of religion? Kamal Haasan has touched upon a subject which is already much highlighted and talked about by various media across the globe, nothing new has been added to the movie to create fire or cheap publicity as it seems to be now. The fact that the Central Board of Film Certification has approved the movie and Kamal Haasan held a special screening of the movie to Muslim community proves that there is nothing wrong in the movie and it does not hurt the sentiments of any religion or community.

 

So who are the people on street protesting against the screening of Vishwaroopam? India is a diverse country with too many people having many different beliefs; this fact has been milked by various organizations and parties to their advantage. Apart from Muslims even the dalit community has been exploited by their community leaders to their advantage. Saffron terrorism, Islamic terrorism are the words been used loosely by the so called leaders who fail to understand that terrorist do not have any religion or colour.

In Kerala, the protest against the movie was facilitated by an organization called Popular Front of India (PFI) which according to the Kerala government had connections with SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), an organisation banned by the Centre. On July 4, 2010, two PFI activists were arrested in conjunction with an incident in which they allegedly chopped the hand off of a Kerala professor who had allegedly offended the religious sentiments of his students. It is alleged that the attack resulted from the ruling from one of the “Taliban-model” courts operating in the state of Kerala. Two boys were kidnapped in June 2011 from Mahajan College premises in Mysore and murdered by members of Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), who sought ransom of 5 crore rupees to raise funds for their organisation. Karnataka Forum for Dignity was merged with PFI in 2008. Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK) which is protesting against the movie is alleged to have links with SIMI and is believed to be controlled by SIMI cadres. In 2005 TMMK even urged the Government of India to lift ban on SIMI. The president of TMMK was arrested in the communal violence that triggered after the 1998 Coimbatore bombings.

It’s quite evident that the group of people agitating against the movie are nowhere related with the innocent Muslim brothers of our country, their intents are questionable and unnecessarily they are trying to use the movie to gain emotional grounds of Muslims who are deeply related with the Islam religion. The movie revolves around the terrorists who unfortunately happen to be Muslim. We Indians sincerely hope that Government of India finds a way to crack down the organizations who manipulate the innocence of Indian muslins in the name of religion.

Do you support the protest against Vishwaroopam?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Akbaruddin Owaisi: Dividing India with his hatred speech

4 Jan

Akbaruddin Owaisi, politician or a terrorist? Image-pardaphash.comAkbaruddin Owaisi an MLA and floor leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen(MIM) in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly gave a two-hour long inflammatory speech on December 24 2012, he was addressing a rally of twenty to twenty-five thousand Muslims in the Nirmal town of Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh. On 28 December 2012, an Advocate K. Karunasagar filed a petition in a local court in Hyderabad against Akbaruddin Owaisi for hurting the sentiments of Hindus, and for making inflammatory, derogatory and offensive remarks. Karunasagar received three death threats on the night of filing the petition.

The speech definitely had clear remarks against Hindus, but for the sake of the integrity and unity of our country let us categorize this speech as against the humanity. Let’s not make Akbaruddin Owaisi the voice of Muslims as he wants to be portrayed, Muslims in India or anywhere around the world are not the supporters of terrorism so how can they support Akbaruddin Owaisi who in his speech appreciates the Mumbai bomb blasts and respects Ajmal Kasab. Akbaruddin Owaisi only represents evil which has no place in the world, he is not a Muslim or a Hindu, he just another Neta/Minister who is trying to divide India for his political motives by playing with the emotions of innocent Muslims.

It’s a shame that such self-proclaimed leaders are roaming freely in our country. Shame on the government of Andhra Pradesh that no immediate action was taken on Akbaruddin Owaisi whose provocative speech had the potential to create thousands of Ajmal Kasab on the streets of India. Director General of Police (DGP) V Dinesh Reddy blamed the Urdu speech for delay in action. He said “There may be slight delay in view of transcribing the speeches due to the language (Urdu) factor”. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy told reporters that the government had no role in the matter and it was for the police to take action as per the law. Sounds like the DGP or the Chief Minister are least bothered about what is going on in their state. It’s a shame that a chief minister like this has been given the charge to maintain law and peace in the state. Recently in Maharashtra two girls were arrested in less than 24 hours for a harmless Facebook post while this disgraceful Akbaruddin Owaisi who is currently in London is roaming free after his hatred public speech.

Here are some statements from Akbaruddin Owaisi’s hatred speech:
1. Supports Mumbai Bomb blasts by providing Babari Mosque demolition as the reason, terms the blasts as reaction to the action against Muslims.
2. Refers Ajmal Kasab as ‘Son’. Compares Kasab with Narendra Modi, asks for death penalty for Modi.
3. He says if the Muslims of India get united like Muslims of Andhra Pradesh, very soon Modi will be seen hanging.
4. He says if we Muslims leave this country we will take the Red Fort, Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar along and you Hindus will be left with the Ayodhya’s deserted Ram temple and naked statues of Ajanta and Ellora.
5. He says when Muslim dies they get buried in the land because they love the land and if Hindus die they are burnt and their ashes just disappear in air.
6. He says we Muslims are 25 crore and you Hindus are 100 crore, remove the police from streets for fifteen minutes and we will tell who is more powerful.
7. He refers Hindus as namard(impotent) and says even 1 crore impotent Hindus cannot create 1 person like Muslim.
8. He provokes the Muslims by asking them not to be afraid of police or anyone and motivates Muslims to take law in their hands if required.
9. He refers BJP as snake who can be killed by a thin stick. Refers the stick as ‘Namaz’ and ‘Quran’
10. He says, instead of microphone if he holds something else(weapon) in his hand, there will be bloodshed in India which India would have never seen like before.

Watch the hatred speech video of Akbaruddin Owaisi:

Should Akbaruddin Owaisi be banned from politics?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Ajmal Kasab Hanged – Finally

21 Nov

Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, was hanged till death at the Yerwada Central Prison in Pune on November 21, 2011 Wednesday morning at 7.30 am. Kasab’s end came just five days before the fourth anniversary of the brutal terror attacks that killed 166 lives and injured 300.

Hats off to Indian Judicial System for taking so long to bring justice to the victims and martyrs of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. It took almost four years to hang a person who was captured live killing innocent people on streets of Mumbai. Probably this explains the reason why the crime rate of India has outpaced the economic growth to notch a 25 per cent growth during the last decade and more. India’s rank has fallen seven points on the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2011, which ranks countries according to how peaceful they are. India now ranks 135 out of 153 countries. We are now amongst the 20 least peaceful nations in the world, along with countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Here are some selected Ajmal Kasab cartoons to celebrate the day we all Indians were waiting for.
Manmohan Singh on Ajmal Kasab
Lawyers on Ajmal KasabAjmal Kasab pleading for mercy - Pranab MukherjeeAjmal Kasab Enjoying Biryani while poor India sufferingAjmal Kasab with a fellow TerroristIndian Police tired of Ajmal KasabAjmal Kasab with fellow terrorist and indian lawyerManmohan Sonia saving Ajmal  kasab from DengueDeath wish of a personAjmal Kasab fighting inflation