Silent Whispers

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Archive for August, 2009

Shahrukh’s Detention: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?

Posted by Mrityunjay on August 19, 2009

Shahrukh's detentionDetention of Shahrukh Khan at Newark Airport has remained the issue of the week. This piece of information was the headlines of our National daily ‘The Times of India’ when several other important issues were vying for our attention. As Salman Khan rightly said, ‘what’s the big deal about it’, I feel like echoing his words. I don’t think I will be able to put forward any enlightening thought that has remained uncovered by national dailies, News Channels and plethora of blogs. But watching this piece of ‘important news’ forced me to write and express my anguish over the hullabaloo.

So who is Shahrukh Khan (SRK)? Oh yes, India’s superstar and a favorite among expats. He is someone, who is used to get VVIP importance at every juncture of his life. His sight makes girls scream and boys drool over much hyped six packs he used to flaunt less than a year ago. SRK belongs to a country where VIP culture reigns supreme. Here, a passenger aircraft with 200-300 odd passengers onboard is kept waiting when a big time politician or VIP is about to board the aircraft. Custom officials salute politicians or film stars or even cricketers on airports instead of checking their belongings. If you dare to frisk them, either you are fired or shunted to unknown of locations on basis of one phone call. Daredevilry is considered stupidity and is rewarded with question marks on your career growth. IAS officers are supposed to touch feet of illiterate VIPs in power and that is an established practice.

Perhaps a much bigger issue was of frisking of APJ Abdul Kalaam, the previous president of India. But that news was relegated to inner pages of the daily newspapers because the news was not likely to grab too many eyeballs. The frisking of ex-president was against protocol. But we are more concerned with detention and questioning of superstar SRK. But why do we forget that USA has different policies when it comes to safeguarding the national interests of the country. Even former vice president Al gore was frisked. But he did not make any fuss about it. Bob Dylan of ‘Blowing in the wind’ fame was detained by two young police officers because he was loitering around. That makes sense in a country that has been victim to terrorists and that likes to take care of its civilians.

Here, in India we do not seem to mind loss of few lives. I mean, who gives a damn about loss of few lives in a country with a population of one billion. A poorly built metro bridge is responsible for death of certain number of people but what action has been taken? The construction company was barred for certain projects and till the date no arrests have been made. A report will be submitted after an eternal waiting and it will be quickly forgotten. Or should I say, it has already been forgotten!     

Yes, I agree American security officials have been slightly paranoid about checking the credentials of Muslim visitors or tourists from South-Asian region. But can you really blame them considering the painful experience they had? The surname ‘Khan’ does cause some problems but you can’t really blame US officials for their circumspect rules and regulations. Being overly protective of your national interests is far better than being lax about your security. At least that makes sure that lives of people are not being risked because of the need of maintaining VVIP culture. Don’t be a cry baby SRK! Just take it in your stride and perhaps now onwards you will be more sensible towards the plight of common citizens who daily go through such rigorous procedures and yet accept it silently!  

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