Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Name is Con

If ever an issue was created by the media for public consumption it is this whole brouhaha involving ShahRukh Khan and his alleged detention by airport officials at Newark Airport. The facts, as far as can be made out over all the cacophonous indignation, are these. Apparently ShahRukh who has been travelling in and out of the US all this year was detained and questioned for around 2 hours by the airport officials at Newark. Further details of the incident are all still a blur. And no one in the media really wants to find out. Because apparently, to quote Union Minister Ambika Soni, every Indian has been hurt by the actions of the US officials. And if this kind of treatment keeps getting meted out to Indian stars then maybe the Indian government should consider reciprocal action!! Seriously? This from a Union minister; talk about hyperbole!

But it doesn’t end there. News channels have been running this story with the breaking news tagline and with quotes from SRK camp regulars, Karan Johar and Farah Khan. Karan Johar somberly addressed the racist element of the incident and cheekily threw in the phrase “its all because his name is Khan.” And Farah Khan is under the delusion that SRK is the “biggest star in the world.” Of course SRK himself dominated all the airwaves with his extensive and in depth views on everything from racism to religious intolerance to international politics to the mental state of Americans as a people. All the while maintaining that he doesn’t want to make a big deal of the incident!

As an issue this couldn’t have been better scripted and that too on the Indian Independence day and most conveniently with SRK starrer My Name is Khan due to hit theatres soon. Anyone with even half a brain will stop to consider if this whole thing isn’t a publicity stunt. But apparently that does not include the editors running our news channels. Or considering the airtime this story is getting, most viewers are gullible enough to swallow this drivel that passes in the name of news.

The final word in this matter of course belongs to Salman Khan, who basically said that this has been happening to Asians, especially Muslims, for some time now and you have to just deal with it. My sympathies are with the Airport officials at Newark who had to listen to SRK stammer away for 2 hours and that too without the benefit of any songs involving Kajol/Rani/Preity to break the monotony.

But seriously, its time that we as a people learnt to deal with the fact that people we deem VIPs here in India are treated just like everyone else elsewhere and thats how it should be. And SRK should take a cue from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and deal with any further spillover from this incident with some dignity and a whole lot of silence.

1 comment:

Janice said...

well said!! brilliant!