I saw the news and I had flashbacks to hearing Rizwan Ahmed aka Riz MC dropping beats at the London Mela in 2006 and rapping to his latest track: the satire and controversial infested â€œ9-11 Blues.â€
So with hate groups on the rise and President Obama being forced to drive The Beast, we havenâ€™t really moved past the post-9/11 state of racism in this country, have we? Furthermore, our President is the most protected President in American history and I know some people who are more concerned about his safety than whether heâ€™ll do his job.
If heâ€™s assassinated, like John F. Kennedy, he canâ€™t do what we want, now can he?
So this brings me full circle to the issue of Bollywood super legend Shah Rukh Khan being detained SaturdayÂ at the airport in Newark, New Jersey.
In a state where the vast majority of the minority are South Asian people, where people from India and Pakistan were vouching for the man, a man that some worship as a God, you mean to tell me, Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration had NO idea what was going on?
Give me a break. No seriously, give me a break and call me a chick with the brain made of cookies. Chocolate chip, preferably.
This is a classic case of what I like to call post-9/11 racism.
Take it or leave it, but itâ€™s there and it took Bollywoodâ€™s biggest star (some say even bigger than Amitabh himself) to shed light on the issue eight years after the fact.
Just because itâ€™s common, just because it still happens and just because the airport officials are ignorant does not make it right.
And I just highlighted the problem: ignorance.
Homeland Security and TSA are hiring ignorant people, who lack basic education and are being paid very poor salaries to run their operations on the ground level.
Thatâ€™s when stuff like this happens.
How many times, on a domestic flight, have you gone through security and had the weirdest crap happen to you? And I call it crap, rather than stuff, because it is â€“ it is utter crap.
People fear what they do not understand â€“ so why donâ€™t we educate them, is my question?
Do you want to know what the headline was for Times of India?
Ironically, â€œMy Name is Khanâ€ is the name of an upcoming Shah Rukh Khan film that tells the story of an innocent Muslimâ€™s experience being mistakenly identified as a terrorist in the United States in the wake of 9/11. Khan will play a man with Asperger syndrome, which makes his behavior erratic. The fictional Khan of the film, sets out on a trip to find President Obama to persuade him that he is not a terrorist. The film has been picked up by American film company Fox Searchlight for international distribution after its release in 2010.
A friend of mine said this was possibly a publicity stunt because of the nature of Khanâ€™s new film. But, I donâ€™t believe that. And the filmâ€™s producer, Karen Johar, spoke out against that notion as well:
â€œIt’s upsetting because I got a text message this morning asking me if it was publicity plug for my movie.
(Sarcastically) I mean, if I had that much power over the Homeland Security, why would I allow Shah Rukh to go through something like this?â€
I mean seriously, think about it â€“ would King Khan really put himself through that? And if so, would Homeland Security and TSA really go along with it?
I highly doubt it. Remember, we are America the Paranoid, we wouldnâ€™t dare let cameras, much less a stunt or experiment through our gilded security halls.
Thatâ€™s make the situation that much more real.
Itâ€™s bad US-India relations, itâ€™s bad US-Muslim relations, itâ€™s bad US-rest of the world relations â€“ itâ€™s just bad public relations.
And FYI, besides for what Karen Johar said, know this: Shah Rukh Khan doesnâ€™t need more publicity.
In terms of ticket sales and number of films produced per year, Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world. At their forefront is none other than King Khan. So outrage, is an understatement to what some people felt when they heard the news.
King Khan is one of 2008â€™s 50 Most Influential People in the World according to Newsweek magazine, his statue is hanging out in Londonâ€™s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, with another at the MusÃ©e GrÃ©vin in Paris. Heâ€™s also a recipient of the Order des Arts et Des Lettres via the French Government and when the people from Slumdog Millionaire wanted one of their own for the Golden Globes this year, they chose their largest star to present the film with Frieda Pinto â€“ him.
Introduced as, â€œThe King of Bollywood,â€ heâ€™s so popular that in India they were even debating whether the Slumdog Millionaire actually needed him to push the film. There is a lot of rock star power that comes with his name, so do not think otherwise.
Dear President Obama,
I think itâ€™s time for another Happy Hour at the White House.
In case you were curious, below are some of Shah Rukh songs andÂ a movie scene for you:-
The infamous rain scene from the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai:
Sasha Muradali runs the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (â€™07)Â and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(â€™08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.