"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Shah Rukh Khan Detained at Newark Airport

The BBC reports that a diplomatic row has erupted after Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan (whom it describes as a global icon and whom I have never heard of) was detained for two hours at Newark Airport:

India has asked the US to explain why a leading Bollywood film star was allegedly detained for two hours at Newark airport, which serves New York.

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Shah Rukh Khan, who was released after India's embassy in the US intervened, said he felt angry and humiliated.

The actor, who is promoting a film on racial profiling, said he was stopped because he had a Muslim name.

But US customs officials denied that Mr Khan had been detained, saying he was questioned for 66 minutes.

Allow me to attempt to explain, for this situation is truly mystifying; the United States is a sovereign nation (one of the very few genuinely sovereign nations on earth, in fact), and therefore it is perfectly entitled to control who may enter, and who may not.

If it wishes to stop and question everyone who enters or no one at all, then it is perfectly entitled to do so (of course, it would be nice if, as a democracy, it listened to the majority of its people on the subject). Frankly, it is not the business of a foreign power.

But no, we don't live in a sane world; instead, we must have all this hand wringing, whilst we pretend to know (or care) who Khan is to avoid offending Indian 'sensibilities'.

I have to ask, would Indian sensibilities be offended by the profiling of Muslims at airports? Maybe we should ask the citizens of Bombay what they have to say.

Here's the U.S. reaction, however:

The US ambassador to India, Timothy Roehmer, said the embassy was looking into Mr Khan's case.

Speaking in Delhi, Mr Roehmer said: "Shah Rukh Khan, the actor and global icon, is a very welcome guest in the United States. Many Americans love his films."

He said the embassy was trying to "ascertain the facts of the case - to understand what took place".


Buggy said...

Yah right, now don't ever mention the word "offended" if Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt comes to India and is meted out the same treatment !!

Edwin Greenwood said...

Khan: "Don't you know who I am?"

Immigration official: "No. Let me guess. The lovechild of Mick Jagger and Shilpa Shetty's mother, maybe?"

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...


As long as they are respectful and within the law, Indians are entitled to decide who can enter their country and who can't.

Frankly, it sounds like this Khan could have done with being taken down a peg or two, and the same is true for Jolie and Pitt, a pair of insufferable dolts.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...


Nice one. I highly doubt I'm alone in not having a clue who this fellow is.

Neha Jain said...

shahrukh khan detained and released, he is a superstar so made to front page of news paper thats it.

why is the govt making big issue about ??????????
why this was not done while our for,er president shri abdul kalam was frisked

is shahrukh more imp for govt as he is freind of congress 1st family??????