Shah Rukh Khan uses melodrama to tackle tough issues

Kirk Honeycutt
Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:45pm EST
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan arrives for the screening of his movie ''My Name is Khan'' at the 60th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 12, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan arrives for the screening of his movie ”My Name is Khan” at the 60th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 12, 2010.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61C0FF20100213

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter

BERLIN (Hollywood Reporter) – The thing about some Bollywood superstars is that they are actually fine actors as well as charismatic performers. So it’s not surprising in “My Name Is Khan” to see Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan — he’s light-years beyond a mere superstar in Hindi cinema’s cosmology — challenge himself to expand his acting range and possibly his international fan base. In convincing fashion, he plays an Indian in America battling the double whammy of living with Asperger’s syndrome and as a Muslim man in the post-9/11 world. Continue reading

A Bollywood Drama in America: The Detention of Shah Rukh Khan

WAJAHAT ALI

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Shah Rukh Khan, the immensely popular Bollywood actor and one of the most recognizable names on Earth, was subtly reminded despite being the United States’ “very welcome guest,” he nonetheless possesses a suspicious Muslim name which allows his detention and “routine inspection” at a New Jersey airport

After initially complaining of his “anger” and “humiliation” over the 70-minute detention, Shah Rukh Khan wisely downplayed the incident by labeling his “routine security measure” an “unfortunate procedure.” Similarly, Timony Roemer, the U.S. ambassador to India, went into P.R. damage control by assuring Khan’s nearly 3.5 billion fans worldwide that “Many Americans love his films.”

However, Roemer should also disclose that the United States also displays a healthy dose of racial profiling and an exaggerated security screening procedure for its darker and more “ethnic” citizens with “Muslim” last names.

U.S. officials repeatedly deny these examinations are based on race or religion despite the overwhelming statistics proving otherwise. Kevin Corsaro, a spokesman for the Customs and Border Protection division of the Department of Homeland Security, stated they wanted to verify Khan’s identity and purpose of travel.

Instead of ensuring safety, the heightened post 9-11 TSA measures border on inefficiency, ignorance and a violation of civil liberties. Simply using Google would have resulted in 5 million links for Khan. It would have also revealed Khan was in the U.S. to film his new movie, “My Name is Khan,” which is ironically about a Muslim man with Asperger’s falsely detained after 9-11 due to his  “suspicious behavior.” Continue reading