Presiden Obama to invite Shah Rukh Khan to a beer

Having heard of many friend’s experiences, I completely empathize with Shah Rukh Khan’s experience at Newark Airport in the US. It is somewhat disturbing to suddenly be interrogated and made to feel like a potential terrorist.
However lets get a perspective on this. The US has a much more compassionate President in Obama, who is trying his best to reach to the Muslim people all over the world to make peace, and the world community must take that into account. But it takes time to change everything. Every country has to do what it believes it needs to protect it’s civilians. I am sure most Indians would ask for far stricter border protection at our airports to screen potential terrorist threats.
I believe what happened to Shah Rukh was a huge blunder, but what happened to our ex President Abdul Kalam was far far worse. It happened on Indian soil. But I admired the calmness with which Abdul Kalam dealt with the issue himself and displayed so much humility. I expect Shah Rukh to do the same as I am sure he will. Only he can defuse the situation.
Unlike our Cabinet Minister Ambica Soni who said we should respond with a ‘tit for tat’. What are you going to do m/s Soni ? Interrogate every American Citizen arriving at our shores for an hour and a half ? Or wait for Brad Pitt to arrive here ? Cabinet Ministers need to make more considered statements.
I do not agree with religious profiling. I still think the world (and not just the US) is Islamic Phobic. The more fear and phobia there is, the more the world will give rise to young Muslim minds that will turn to extremism. I think the US needs to reconsider how to approach the whole problem of Airport Security. Was this not what finger printing and retina photography was supposed to do at immigration ? Give the immigration officer an instant profile of the person entering the US ?
I also think President Obama and his British allies have not thought through there Afghan policies. Creating the nation of Afghanistan into a battlefield for your own perceived notions about a threat to your own security is not fair. In the course Pakistan has been taken over by fundamentalists too. Afghanistan threatens to turn into Obama’s Vietnam.
In light of which what happened to Shah Rukh is a minor incident which we should protest about, yes. Ensure that this does not happen to an Indian public figure like him again, and move on.
And President Obama, adept as he is diplomatically and politically, should invite Shah Rukh to a family dinner over beer and one of his Bollywood films.

51 Responses to “Presiden Obama to invite Shah Rukh Khan to a beer”

  1. Sudhanshoo says:

    It is foolish to comment that what happened to Shri Kalam and Mr SRK is unacceptable. Security and frisking should be equitable. The Indian concept of VIPs and VVIPs is stupid. Everyone should be subject to security. A common man does not mind getting frisked for 2 hours at random but a fuss is created when SRK has to pass through it. US has its own measures to counter terrorism and anything that can jeopardize their internal security. We should respect them.
    India needs to amend all the security loopholes wherein netas and their chamchas can bypass the security while the people who elect them need to verify themselves.
    I respect your thoughts and opinion but Its sad that people like you think this way 🙁
    SRK and Dr Kalam are humans too.

  2. (I expect Shah Rukh to do the same as I am sure he will. Only he can defuse the situation.)
    He has follow the rule. Story Ends. Why he is replying media queries that is the question.

  3. Chevalier says:

    “The US has a much more compassionate President in Obama, who is trying his best to reach to the Muslim people all over the world to make peace”
    Okay, seriously, this uninformed meme needs to stop. Did you that Obama actually wants to incarcerate terrorism SUSPECTS indefinitely without trial – worse than George Bush’s policies? (http://www.correntewire.com/i_think_btd_needs_stop_holding_back_and_say_what_he_really_feels)
    Did you know that he’s actually EXPANDING George Bush’s Faith Based Initiatives aka Christian Evangelical initiatives here in the US? As someone who lives in a Southern State, I can attest that this only means tons of Muslims and Hindus and Jews – and women of all religions – are now going to be even more terrified of speaking up for themselves.
    And yes, the Gates-Crowley incident was not racial discrimination but an example of usual police misuse of authority – Obama spoke up promptly about the drama, but not a word has he said about worse incidents – yesterday a mother was *tasered* in front of her two children for driving 5 miles over the speed limit – and Obama has nothing to say about this?: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/mom_in_minivan_tasered_in_traf.html
    Obama is a politician like any other, and a bad, scheming one at that. He can win elections on a ‘compassion’ platform – that doesn’t mean he is actually compassionate, or that his policies are thoughtful and/or liberal.

  4. Sid Singh says:

    I wonder if this was just a star tantrum by an India celebrity who is used to a life of privilege and ass-licking by everyone around him.
    He was probably just asked standard immigration questions and got offended.
    Just because you star in bad chick flicks (and millions of dollars) doesn’t mean the whole world should fall at your feet.
    Also Shekhar, if Obama invites Khan for some beer, the whole muslim world is going to explode into protests – how can you offer a muslim alcohol – effigies will be burnt all over the world and “death to america” slogans will be chanted.

  5. ginak says:

    Hi shekar!
    Wish they just treat it as just a security requirement and smooth over ruffled feathers if any and let it be rather make a hue and cry of it and further polarize ppl of the world.

  6. Abhinav Vats says:

    Namaste Shekhar,
    I wonder what really is the difference between a celebrity and a commoner-accept for fame.A celebrity is a person who celebrates life-rich or poor,famous or not so famous.Then why for the VIPs a special treatment and why ‘not’ the same for the others.
    SRK called up the ministry etc..i wonder was that important? a lot of Hollywood stars and lesser known celebrities from other countries (who are very famous in their own country)go through these security drills patiently and dont bat an eye-lid why do ‘us’ Indian stars have to get offended-do our stars consider themselves to be mini versions of god-even god does not have an ego.
    If our security people at the airport are lazy enough not to do anything which they should be doing,just get a nice salary check at the end of the month,why blame US…I think its only right for any country to question people for its own security-whether it takes 3,4 or 5 hours…..
    Why do we all not have the patience to endure it?
    I think SRK should have accepted it humbly like many others that would have truly made him a celebrity,a star…may be he did.
    Unfortunately a lot of us believe-fame,money and reach makes us superstars…how untrue,those kids who pick up rags from garbage dumps or food to eat from these dumps-look at their smiles-they are Superstars!!
    Have a good evening.
    Abhinav Vats/.AV.

  7. Sir,
    I appreciate your observations and thoughts which seem to be carry a calm down effect on nerves. I believe International Travel and specifically US needs a kind of preparedness which does not match up with expectations back home when most of them have never had an opportunity to International Travel. Media before condemning International Security policies much after 26/11 should be considerate enough to relate to true sentiments of Indian society rather than exploiting the opportune moment.
    Diplomacy is an art available to a few like you.
    Ambassadorship in waiting once you are done with expression on celluloid….LOL
    Vinod Agarwal – Learning to see both sides of a situation…!!

  8. Saurabh says:

    Incident happened with Shahrukh is unfortunate but i certainly disagree with your view on the take of Ambica Soni.
    I would agree that cabinet ministers should make responsible statements but i would ask you that if you have gone thru yourself the same harassment and keep on hearing the same thing happening with other ..most respected…people of the country … what would be your reaction ???
    Still would you maintain your calm and make a DIPLOMATICALLY and POLITICALLY correct statement ????
    NO…….
    Why do Indian face these things ??? Because we are more dignified, cultured and patient enough to tolerate all these nonsense.
    I can dare anyone in this world to do a physical frisking of Bill Clinton ex president of America as was done by the American Airlines.
    By choosing to make the statement Ambica Soni sent the right signal to America that no nonsesnse will be tolerated by India in this regard.
    And more so…… as far as waiting for Brad Pitt to arrive in India is concerned, I would say that ..we wouldn’t have to wait for so long….as …even if one the diplomat or important person from America is harassed by Indian Authorities…it would become such a big issue that…they would get the lesson right away.
    September 11 for America was a very big thing so they turned Afganistan into the battlefield and other countries joined to support, but none of the nation’s are bothered except for issuing politically correct statements of sympathy even if the worst possible attack on the any nation which can happen was done to India by attacking the parliament and the Mumbai attack.
    It’s only because we always show restrain for getting into a war….which other countries take advantage of and also consider it as a weakness.
    It’s high time for Indians to stop behaving too dignified and tolerant to be impractical in today’s world and have the right attitude of tit for tat.
    I am not suggesting that we should become very undiplomatic in our approach but we should deal with these type of things very sternly and also walk the talk if such a situation arises.

  9. AJ says:

    Sad but reality
    Mumbai felt deserted …
    Beach, Streets, parks, multiplex empty …
    I had fun while hearing officials in different country airports during 8 days (100hrs travel) trip. I felt the questions, conversations were so stupid … I was laughing inside at the ignorance …
    and move on …
    Some day I’ll write it but no time right now for what i feel ignorant, uneducated people on the airports …
    Delhi was the worst.
    Power outage while waiting for bag on international airport, generator starts but no movement, 1 hour 8 people discussing until i told 2 of them to use another belt. Imagine after 30 hours do you want to wait 1 hour and knowing in the middle of night many people waiting outside to receive …
    and life goes on …

  10. Newspapers, TV Channels, Websites flashed the news of Shahrukh Khan being questioned in the New York airport and detained for 2 hours.First and foremost, is HE the first muslim being questioned?? The whole nation especially the Bollywood is calling it as “Disgraceful, Humiliating” etc. etc., but , do these people raise their voice when thousands of innocent muslims are being detained and questioned?? Why such a hue and cry if he is being held for 2 hours and questioned about his whereabouts?
    When the whole world is reeling under the fear of terrorism and extremism have risen manifolds, such kind of treatment is very common, yes it’s bad that it’s targeted only to certain community or group. And, yes, Shahrukh being questioned is no big deal, when in India itself, minority groups are being ill treated, why blame US for doing that? In the name of religion, we have enough of our way to hatredness and show our superiority to other religion, community and group. Untill and unless, we see ourselves as a part of “WORLD COMMUNITY” rather than calling and tagging ourselves with our country, religion, caste, things will never improve.
    And, Shahrukh, get a LIFE. There is no need to hype a common questioning to such an extent. There are far more serious issues that we need to ponder on.Not like, we wake up in a sunday morn, pick up a newspaper, see the headlines of you being questioned and then think of you being so-called “humiliated” by the Firangis. It’s not the first time happening with the celebrities, there have been many cases of racisim and hatredness because of one’s religion and yes, you shouting and creating a hype is not going to change anything.
    Shahrukh, big deal!!!

  11. Subrata says:

    What is happened to SRK is not any unfortunate incident. US gov is not stupid and not the FBI. They must have valid reason to detain SRK.
    SRK has thought that every gov is like India.
    We all know about friendly relation of Bollyywood stars with middle east people. Acting as gentleman in movie is altogether a different game in reality. Dear shekhar you can expect a VIP treatment in India but not in US. In the matter of security you are no longer different than any other person. It doesn’t matter whether SRK visits US or not, What is matter is the security of people. Remember this incident, if it is happened to you, just follow the procedure.

  12. sonam says:

    Sir,
    i hope this comment may find u in good health. And, i did sad on hearing SRK.(my iconic personality) being detained in USA. being global icon, kept such long hour is bit sad yet acceptable, coz nothing is perfect. And American shod learn via mistake. Once ex-president,Kalum was frisked yet as Sir said, President kept problem in calm manner. we are proud of his simplicity and calmness. Yet, SRK does not need going in the same manner. if we keep on taking everything in the term of possiblity, amount of bully act will increase, that is why, we shocked on hearing Ex-president was frisked, that is again in india soil, as Sir put it. my point is that, the revenge is not necessary yet we shod support SRK and try to solve it once and all in mutual respect and understanding as H.H The Dalai Lama said,”century of dialogue”.
    One addition, sometimes, media also need to look in right perspective that either it is important for breakiing news or good will of people. In this time, media can make us both belief and deception. media could make us emotinally boost up to take irrational act. we all love media and media is bridge between goverment and people. But, media shod earn its credibility and truthfullness

  13. Sid Singh says:

    Subrata has an interesting point – Shah Rukh Khan likely has multiple middle eastern visa stamps in his paspport. couple that with the bollywood – dawood – organised crime nexus, and you have good reason to verify a few things (including his baggage) before you let him go.

  14. Ganesh says:

    SRK –> Grow up!!!!
    I guess while Kalam’s incident was a shame because of his earlier role as President of India, i believe that SRK should not think that he is GOD. Worse still is our media which gives importance to news around filmi stars instead of focussing on SWINE FLU.
    Ganesh

  15. salmaan says:

    With all due respect MR. Kapur your are totally off base on this. Why should Obama invite anyone to the whitehouse let alone SRK. I go thru this everytime I travel to India and when I return to US from any country. I have no problem going thru security checks, re-checks and getting pulled for secondary inspection. Mr. SRK has to realize there is law and order and everyone is equal.
    If 9/11 would have happened in India I highly doubt muslims would be able to live in peace. They would have been persecuted until the end of time. Majority of Americans are forgiving and I wouldn’t want to be in any other country but here where freedom of religion is as strong as ever before.
    How easy it is for Mr, Khan to criticize the US rules and making a big deal out of this minor issue. 1hour 15mins to clear customs and immigrations is not such a long time but lately when your movies are failing you need controversy specailly when your next movie is about terrorism?? How ironic.

  16. Pratap Singh Tomer says:

    Drinking beer by SRK is haraam, he is a muslim.
    If he is drinking beer/alcohol then next headlines will be – Fatwa issued to SRK by religious mulla’s, isn’t it Mr.Kapoor ?

  17. Sunil says:

    I think people are blowing things out of proportion. Security is a major concern for every country. The personnel should be allowed to do his duty. The concept of VIP and VVIP is a childish attitude in India. It is high time we need to come out of this attitude.

  18. Aline says:

    I know the frisking and questioning thing in the US just too well. It happens to all. The more we go to the US, the more probabilities that it will happen to us. It is just statistics.
    I crossed the border every single working day for 9 years. Knowing the American way, tone and timing to say things really helps (being culturally aware). I was not always treated with utmost respect by immigratiobn officials, but I could reply defending my position and get away with it (and go through second inspection quickly) because I knew exactly how to do it, in an American accent too. 🙂
    I have always thought that American immigration officials need training to be able to increase their tolerance when communicating with people coming from all over the world. It seems absurd that they would expect all to speak and think like Americans.
    It would make the whole immigration control process much swifter, easier and would avoid not all, but many unfortunate incidents.
    Revenge is unnecessary. India would probably benefit from tightening security, but would be a greater example if they did it in a more multicultural conscious manner than the US.

  19. Ravindra S Chitragar says:

    I don’t mind Any govt authority detains me because they find, some thing similarity with their set checklist with my name or color or height or anything for that mater. It is a check point.
    Detaining is a checking process. It is not decision making process.
    For the Security of a country, rules must be followed. No matter they are wrong for some people. It could be, President Abdul Kalam, or SRK or Me or you in that situation.
    SRK would have felt very bad because he never underwent such inspection against him. Such good works are hardly done in INDIAN check points.
    In INDIA, Whenever either there is a movie star or politician appears in the public places or check points, public and authorities spread a paper and pen for AUTOGRAPH. Huh!!! Nobody is bothered, if he is carrying a bomb.
    There was MEGA DEEPAVALI of BOMBS last year in INDIA. It would have been avoided with right rules and working systems in place.
    It seems U.S systems are working. No attacks after 9/11.
    We must learn from such examples, make rules and follow then NO matter there is SRK / Rakhi sawant / MLA in the queue.
    It is not correct on our part, if we say, “WE will also check them because they did so”.
    ALL VIP and VVIP OF INDIA.. PLEASE STOP FLYING AND COME BACK ON THE EARTH. IT IS TERRORIST ERA. HERE STRICT STRONG RULES ARE REQUIRED TO CATER A SAFE STRONG LIVING SOCIETY.

  20. Faiz Usmani says:

    Well, in retrospect, we have spoken enough about this and its time we just moved on. There is definitely no report of any harassment being meted out to the actor, whom we have liked at some point or the other for his performances.
    It was a routine check and this could have happened to just about anyone. It happens to so many people everyday. The actor may have expressed his worst fears while speaking to the media and as rightly pointed out by Mr Kapur, this is something that should be forgotten and we should move ahead.
    When you are a guest in a foreign country you must abide by the rules there, and this is one of them.

  21. Anna says:

    I am surprised how much of ruckus the detention has raised. Just see how is it fostered by newspapers,e-media,blogs etc etc.
    Hello stars and movie goers,come down to earth:is SRK above the law? If he has nothing to reproach, SRK can put it down to kismet and say that this is part of the deal when you travel to some Western Countries(by the way,isn’t this doing his movie some publicity also).Comeon guys moola doesnot bring you immigration waiver rights. Do you think it makes sense when we say SRK is a star with world wide fame… Hey it stinks and the news is old. PERIOD
    If as SRK doesnot want to come to USA, let him go soemwhere else.
    Before he claims ” status” of being a star with worldwide fame,let’s find out what charity work he does ?
    I am sorry to hear some ministers of the central government react.Makes me wonder on what the pre-requisites are to become a politician in India …
    I am more woried about what happened to Shri Kalam in India.

  22. Mani says:

    I agree with Shekhar’s comment comparing President Kalam and SRK airport issue. What happaned to President Kalam is far more humiliating compared to SRK issue because it happaned on Indian Soil.
    There are so many ordinary travellers facing this type of problemS on a day to day basis because of what ever reasonS but they are not SRK or President Kalam, WHO WILL ADDRESS THEIR CONCERNS?
    One way SRK incident will convince travellers around the world is that, American enhanced airport security after Sep 11, is working well and people feel far more safer even if it causes some inconviences to some travellers.
    Mani
    Canada

  23. A B Mehta says:

    Common Americans are very ignorant about persons, history, geography, customs etc of other countries, particularly Non-European. Recently I read a joke that I reproduce below – please note the comment about USA:
    A Survey was taken all over the world many years back to get views of all on the following question.
    “Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?”
    The survey was a huge failure because of the following:
    In Eastern Europe they didn’t know what “honest” meant.
    In Western Europe they didn’t know what “shortage” meant.
    In Africa they didn’t know what “food” meant.
    In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.
    In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.
    In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant.
    In the US they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant.
    -anand

  24. Sudhir says:

    “And President Obama, adept as he is diplomatically and politically, should invite Shah Rukh to a family dinner over beer and one of his Bollywood films.”
    Shekhar, Pray which Shahrukh (or Bollywood!) movie should Obama watch? I am waiting for Bollywood to make at least one original great movie. May be I am too spoiled by the luscious imagery scened by the likes of Antonioni, Tarkovsky, Agnes Varda etc. I am ashamed of the drivel that comes out of Bollywood.

  25. Dhananjay says:

    I think this is purely a publicity stunt by Mr. Khan, as one of his movie with the same name is about to release. He should consider that people consider him as Ideal, so he is having the responsibility to react in a more mature way and should learn from our Respected formal president.

  26. Saurabh says:

    What happened with shah rukh was wrong but it is a habit of Indian media to blow things out of proportion and some month’s ago same thing happened with Mr Kalam but nobody raised a single questions including politicians, indian media and bolywood filmstars….actually this is an example set by americans that no matter who you are vip, vvip or whatever you are not above law and that’s why from there not even a single terrorist attack has been reported after 9/11…….

  27. Farooq says:

    Shekar!!! Oh come on shekar wake up now we are independent proud indians, don’t be slave of Europeans, you are a ordinary person, if it happen you, we never mind, but SRK is our country honer, whole india is proud of him…..
    Farooq
    Canada

  28. ravi says:

    Kapoor talks like a US agent again.

  29. Ron says:

    Hi Mr Kapoor,
    Why should Shahrukh get a special treatment? Just because he is a celibrity or he is an INDIAN actor? Who Cares? Give me one good reason why USA security should appologies?
    Do you have any idea how many “COMMON” people go through the same everyday???
    Why shahrukh I am really not getting you?? why?

  30. shekhar says:

    strange is it not ? some people read this blog and think I am taking the side of the US (ravi says I am talking like a US agent again) and others think I am giving too much credit to Shah Rukh ! shekhar

  31. Hi Shekhar,
    I live very close to Newark Liberty airport, NJ. I traveled through this airport at least 50 times in the last few years. I don’t have any muslim last name either, but this thing also have happened with me at least a couple of times….”Not a big deal”. That’s a regular security procedure and I do respect that. Being a big star does not make you bigger than The Star-Spangled Banner(US LAW). It serves equally to rich and the poor,celebrities and the mangoes.
    I’m sure you are aware about the story of Roman Polansky.He is not muslim but he is still not forgiven by the US Authorities because that’s the procedure of Law and no one is bigger than it.
    Peace!
    Sanjay

  32. p says:

    Shekhar! Disappointing coming from you. You- who claps in u r program (IGT)for the aam Junta of India, now states:
    “Ensure that this does not happen to an Indian public figure like him again, and move on.”
    Grow up! Why should an Indian public figure be treated any differently? Its sad that this happened to any one- esp a 2 hr detention without any phone communication. I’m glad it happened to SRK so now the world knows what happens at security but u know what – we put up with this cos it for Security!! As stated soooo many times in the above comments, SRK is not above law! The immigration officer did not know who SRK was so he did his job to perfection.
    BTW, the commoner does not have access to calling a minister in the middle of the night. And u r comment is to ensure this does not happen to a public figure??? More than the incident, I am shocked at u r blog post!
    Well- u do what u know best-look at life from a celebrity perspective. Sad…..

  33. sravankumar says:

    Who we r to get into another nations private policies if you[we] have any problem then stop going to that country we r running because they are rich and much more advanced and they are in that stage because of their strict rules ok stop critisiging

  34. sunil balani says:

    What religion and race has got to do with his detention at Newark. What evidence or theory he or his supporters have to make anyone believe that he was subjected to this because of his religion.
    The simple fact is stardom goes to head of people and then everything pricks their inflated ego….

  35. nimi khanna says:

    I have a submission.The world is going through a very difficult time, the divisive forces are trying their best to create problems.
    Mr. Sharukh Khan should instead seize this opportunity and become an ambassador of bonding the world together and not take it personally.

  36. manju says:

    @ Sanjay,
    well said!
    But the way things were dealt with Dr Kalam do not seem to be diplomatic. The case of SRK seem to be not such an issue in my opinion. People working at Visa office and Immigration are so skeptical about people/documents entering their country, i think they are supposed to be like that, for saftey reasons.
    I remembered one of your old posts Shekhar, u being nagged at the airport. you took it so lightly, why not SRK? why should it be made such a big issue?

  37. abrakadabra says:

    Shahrukh is a frequent US traveller, and he apparently never faced this situation earlier. It happened just in time for him to promote his upcoming movie ‘My Name is Khan’. A mere coincidence or pure publicity stunt?

  38. Horst Vollmann says:

    Dear Shekhar:
    The Gates/Crowley affair had a far greater gravitas than the indignity Mr. Shah Rukh suffered at the hands of some clueless immigration officer. Even if the limited education and the absence of worldliness of civil servants may preclude them from making snap judgments about the identity of prominent travelers, frankly, much more astute movie buffs may have been slow in recognizing an actor whose fame has all its roots in India.
    It is definitely true that profiling is part of the security manual the immigration officer familiarize themselves with. It is equally true that the world is Islamic phobic, a fact that does not surprise me entirely. I think extremism is fueled by the hopelessness of the lives young terror recruits are living and the indoctrination spread by ruthless fanatics who are pulling strings in the background and who want to advance their unsavory, radical and primordial agendas. I don’t believe that phobias have much to do with it.
    Some of our liberties and freedom is sacrificed on the altar of security mania, but would we really want to go back to the days when the longing for security was equated with paranoia? I don’t think so. Can there be infinitely more done to restore some of our dignity we usually check in with our luggage? For sure. The technology is definitely available. Regardless, I still prefer to take off my shoes for some surly security agent than having to live in fear that the aircraft I am flying with is blown to smithereens.
    I am afraid Barack Obama would have to spend an inordinate amount of time to drinking beer with people whose egos had been bruised and I suspect he is not even a beer drinker. His time should be devoted to Afghanistan that – as you have rightfully concluded – may very well become his waterloo. That is where Islamic anger germinates, where the switches are shifted to a more compassionate world of progress and education or to a radicalization of social precepts that have their roots in the pleistocene epoch. I hope that over the din of opposing forces in the U.S. Barack Obama finds his narrative again that has excited the whole world so much on this November evening in 2008 when he was declared the winner of the presidential race.
    With kind regards.
    Horst

  39. Ankur says:

    I think Shahrukh Khan has a right to protest if he was feels he was racially profiled , but i also think that we should not scope this more than that. Every country has its own race/religion issues and US does too and we have our own. Special treatment to indian public figures hmmmm….. may be if they are on state visits and we can leave that on the state’s(governments) to decide.
    Shahrukhs issue is not an national issue.

  40. Ritu says:

    Shekhar,
    Newark is my port of entry into the US and I have had bad experiences the last two times I came in. Earlier this year, they detained me for 4 hours even though my papers were valid (only there was a fine print that they could not interpret). And believe me I got a fair share of racial comments. I let it pass as a natural reaction of people whose economy is reeling under recession. They think we are taking their jobs. It was good of them to just give me a few taunts (however irritated I was then), in India, if we had a similar situation they would have lynched me.
    Last year when I came in, even though the papers were as per their liking, we still had to sit for over 1.5 hours and had our luggage frisked and faced remarks like ‘I am sure you have pickles in there’. None of us did, but they opened everything up in the search for the elusive bottle of a pickle. And albeit trivial, that is also racial profiling. Looking at it from their angle you cannot really blame them for racial profiling. 80% NRIs carry pickles from India, so the remaining 20% will get harassed too. It is a matter of logistics.. think left-brain not right-brain. It does not feel good to feel like a school-boy caught with his hand in the cookie-jar over pickles, but if they have an 80% success rate with a procedure, they will do it right? What is the alternative for them? That logic applies to any kind of racial profiling. What I blame the EWR guys for is for making uncharitable remarks. Those cannot be condoned.
    Having said all that, SRK I learn is promoting ‘My Name is Khan’, which is about racial profiling, it doesn’t take rocket-science to put 2 and 2 together!

  41. nimikhanna says:

    MR. Sharukh Khan,
    Your dignity has always stood out –Let this quote that you sited this morning be–
    “When they came to get the JEWS I spoke brotherhood,
    When they came to get Christians I spoke brotherhood,
    I speak brotherhood because I am in the palm of HIS HAND and God put me in a position to teach the world that this is the only way to exist.

  42. kavitha says:

    Folks burning effigies of President Obama need to calm down…if any of our homes were maliciously burnt down, along with all those who inhabited it, I doubt we would be gracious to let anybody walk through the portals of our home again without precautionary measures that are sufficiently gratifying to us, even at the cost of being looked upon as ‘racial discriminators’…
    Those in responsible office making public statements about the ‘inappropriateness’ of the incident need to stop feeding the hyped up frenzy, infuse their comments with diplomacy that befits their public position, and serve to diffuse public protests inherently divisive in nature…
    Those who *worship* and idolize Bollywood stars, and over-react to a procedure that any one of us passing through US Immigration have come to accept as routine…and all those who interpret such acceptance as being ‘US agents’ need to inject themselves with a dose of reality, objectivity and a more balanced worldview…
    Public figures (IAS, IFS, other government officials, celebrities & more) need to shed their bloated sense of self-importance in such and similar circumstances. Every one is a human being first, then a celebrity, a “global icon”, a “public figure”. Being interrogated is an unpleasant experience, period…irrespective of whether you are someone from the creme-de-la creme of society or otherwise. There are millions who endure this everyday with no access to ministerial level intervention or a favorable public profile that inflames mass protests against ‘unfair discrimination’.
    Congratulations, US immigration, on a job well done, without prejudices of rich or poor, celebrity or non-celebrity…
    A word for the systems management group of US Immigration Services: it would serve well to better sync traveler profiles captured at consulates around the world, with the systems at landing ports across the US. Will surely save tons of time and money for the US, and loads of heartache for travelers!
    Of course I am not lauding or in support of the guiding principles that define who gets singled out for interrogation and search. But it serves that nation’s fears and security interests. Those who are so vehemently critical of the process have a choice not to enter the US and subject themselves to potential ‘humiliation’. But, when you tread the US soil seeking larger markets and/or $$, that choice is self selected — between acceptance of [inappropriate/unfair] US rules, and, preservation of one’s ego & self-importance that is unwilling to succumb to such rules. Is it not?
    Hello Bollywood (or at least the part of Bollywood expressing outrage and a hue &cry over the incident) — hope you will consider stepping out of your bubble world, and make your pick !
    And why is it that Indian government officials swear to take it up with the ‘highest levels’ of US Government in this case? The high statistics of millions of others subjected to a similar procedure over the years was not reason enough to catapult action until now?
    And to the vast majority of people in the land of America — having said whatever I said earlier, I will also say there needs to occur a conscious effort & general broadening of horizons of the average American mind around perceptions about the Muslim world, who they truly are…rather than the limited, stereotypical image of “evil” that pervades their thinking, interactions and behaviors.
    Yet, amidst all this din, there’s a nagging corner of the mind that asks:
    could we remotely entertain the idea that this whole drama – the incident, spawning the over-hyped reactions, and reactions to reactions — could be a well-timed, master-minded play?. How difficult is it for any of us to tip off someone in the US immigration services?
    BTW, what was the central theme of the film “My name is Khan” that SRK was in the rounds of promoting in the US? Racial discrimination or something like that ? And who’s leading its marketing and promotions? Hmmm…
    Only in God, we trust.

  43. Bill says:

    Great post!

  44. Gaurav Verma says:

    Hi,
    Shahrukh’s detention incidence, very bleak possibility, but out of blue, it may be possible that this could be a publicity stunt just before the upcoming film “My name is KHAN”. Please think over & comment. I am just trying to give a new aspect to think over. I am not against anybody either Shahrukh or US Security Agencies.
    Thanks.

  45. shahbaz says:

    Dear , I explain first of all……….
    Mr kapur told APJ had one incident in india , as a president if he exprees the seen then it is shameful to indian security, they should not belive own president……….due to self respect he was hide the bad situation……….ok
    if it was happened in USA then highlighted…….
    What the sharukhan did that is Best…..i appriciate his activity what he did after US Security did….
    He is one of ICON , If American doing this than people told they are doin their jobs ok….if any one indian or othere country security is doing to a common citizen of USA than they take action against that country security …….USA respecting common citizen of there country …..we are not respecting our country citzen either vip or VVIP……….blody indian mind….India never become self respect country go to hell those who are saying sharukh is not done right ………….SHarukh is 100% Right
    …………………fuck u shekhar

  46. austere says:

    particularly nasty lot, these security chaps.
    could use some manners.
    quid pro quo for some time won’t hurt.

  47. manju says:

    @shabaz
    tell whatever u want to tell, but use some decent language, usage of bad words make others disrespect u. If u want to be treated respectfully, be the same. Moreover u are talking about mutual respect here.

  48. i think the worst episode was strip screening george fernadez WHEN HE WAS THE DEFENCE MINISTER.
    shah rukh khan incident was blown out of proportion. my post on this issue – king khan not god khan – had more people agreeing with me than disagreeing.
    ‘tit tat’ was a knee jerk reaction. anyway, if she meant tightening our security, i think most people are with her. we tend to get very lax sometimes – –
    like you said, every country has a right to protect its people & soil.

  49. Sidhusaaheb says:

    I have written about my personal experience with Religious Profiling at http://sidhusaaheb.blogspot.com/2009/08/religious-profiling-shahrukh-khan-and-i.html .
    By the way, there appears to be a vital difference between what President Kalaam and SRK had to go through.
    President Kalaam was frisked, it seems, like any other passenger. On the other hand, Shahrukh Khan was drawn out of line and questioned for nearly 2 hours, mainly on account of his last-name/surname being Khan.

  50. Miriam says:

    Do you want to worship Mr Khan and Mr Kalam as one of zillion Gods of India? Deifying ordinary people is far too much. Spend a million on building a temple for them!!

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