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Shah Rukh Khan – who?

Hilarious difference in point -of-view happening right now between the US and India. One of the biggest Bollywood stars was on his way to promote a film in North America, and was detained at the airport in Newark. On that much, everyone can agree, but beyond that, things get a little hazy.

The Philadelphia Enquirer puts it Bollywood Actor questioned while the AP reports that Bollywood star downplays incident at US airport. There it is, no big deal, move along people – nothing more to see here.

Burning a flag for Shah Rukh KhanHowever, things in India are quite a bit uglier. From SRK (as he is known here) feeling the heat of American paranoia to Outrage in India, complete with flag burnings, this story is front page news all over the country. People are calling for protests and boycotts and just generally going crazy over this perceived slight.

While I’m no expert, there are a couple of ideas that jump to mind about this incident. First off, movie stars everywhere pretty much expect people to be at their beck and call. Can you imagine how a border agent is going to react if some guy goes, “You know buddy, I’m a movie star, so just back off.” Added to the fact that almost nobody in America (outside of Indian expats) would recognize a Bollywood movie star, I can just see the “Yeah, right – you’re up for extra checking” conversation taking place right away.

The second (and admittedly more likely) scenario was that he just randomly popped up on the TSA guy’s radar: here is a man coming from the other side of the world, last name of Khan, no baggage (it had been not made an earlier connection): isn’t this the type of situation we pay them to screen? A simple double check, taken care of by the book.

The third and most interesting possibility is that this is all a publicity stunt of sorts. He was taken aside after he told the officials his name; interestingly he has an upcoming movie entitled My Name is Khan. Coincidence – or not?

The best line of the entire incident, however, belonged to SRK when he was told that India should institute reciprocal checks for people coming here from the USA. His response: “If they want, I can frisk Angelina Jolie.”

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One Comment

  1. Another possible scenario: Perhaps this was just a failed attempt of a SRK strip search for all the right reasons and nothing to do with terrorists. 😉

    1. Nena on August 17th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

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