New Delhi, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s two-hour detention at Newark airport in the US over his surname had members of the Indian film industry fuming. Karan Johar was “shocked”, actress Priyanka said it was “downright disgraceful” and filmmaker Kabir Khan termed it “harassment”.
The 43-year-old actor was detained while he was on his way to Chicago to attend an event related to India’s Independence Day and was freed only after Indian diplomats intervened.
Here’s what King Khan’s friends and colleagues had to say:
Karan Johar: I am shocked and upset…feeling terrible for Shah Rukh.
Priyanka Chopra: Shocking, disturbing and downright disgraceful. It’s such behaviour that fuels hatred and racism. Shah Rukh Khan is a world figure for god’s sake. Get real!
Kabir Khan: When I heard this news, I was so surprised…it has almost become a routine. If you have a Muslim name you are bound to be questioned. It happened with me thrice in the US. I was stopped by immigration officials for three to five hours… they don’t care whether you are a celebrity or whoever.
But when it comes to Shah Rukh, it doesn’t take more than 20 seconds to figure out who he is�any search engine (on the Internet) will give more information on him than Hollywood stars Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt and despite that if it took them two hours to figure out, then its harassment.
Post 9/11 it is prejudice to have a person’s name and religion checked and it is very discouraging as well.
Pritish Nandy: This is the problem with law enforcers worldwide…Truly obnoxious. Cops don’t want to recognise anybody. They love to show their power and authority, especially in the US.
Kunal Kohli: It’s really disgusting. Even if they had done a Google search on their mobiles, they would have seen who he is. What were they checking for two hours on their super computers? To detain him for two hours is ridiculous, disgusting and an insult to us Indians.
Arindam Chaudhari: Shah Rukh has just finished his film “My Name Is Khan” in which his character tries to prove to the Americans that he is not a terrorist. I’m sure he never thought it would happen in real life too…What a shame! It’s shocking and shameful because I am sure Shah Rukh would have had to explain who he is.
It’s Shah Rukh so it’s become big news. But there many who constantly go through this everyday. It’s really sad.
Eesha Koppikhar: I am not sure of the exact events but if he was detained just because he is a Muslim with Khan as a last name, it is very wrong.