On behalf of the USA, mujhe maaf kardo Shah Rukh Khan-ji

In case you didn’t already know…

srkdetainedShah Rukh Khan, 43, known here as the King of Bollywood, was on his way to Chicago for a parade later Saturday to mark India’s Independence Day when immigration officials at Newark pulled him aside and interrogated him. The star of scores of top-grossing films was released after Indian consular officials vouched for him. “I was really hassled — perhaps because of my name being Khan,” he said in a text message to reporters in India. “These guys just wouldn’t let me through.” ….(source)

Forgive them SRK, for they know not what they do. Sorry bhaisahib, on behalf of America, mujhe maaf kardo Shah Rukh Khan-ji. I apologize for the USA detaining you at the airport, and sorry for the buzz kill to your Indian Independence Day.

On a related note…

And another…

And this is WHO he was going to see!

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18 thoughts on “On behalf of the USA, mujhe maaf kardo Shah Rukh Khan-ji

  1. So SRK, who has an upcoming movie called “My Name Is Khan”, is detained in Newark, generating massive press coverage that gives him an opportunity to speculate that he was hassled perhaps because his name is Khan…

    More details will come out and maybe we’ll find that this was in no way engineered by the film’s promoters. But it seems to me that all you have to do is fill out your entry card in a halfway suspicious way or bring in some benign item that xrays in a suspicious way, and then respond to the custom agent’s questions in a vague or borderline-disrespectful way to create a significant hassle that you could easily prolong through reticence or defiance during the interviewing process. I mean, being detained for two hours when all you’d have to do is tell them, “I’m one of the biggest stars on the planet. Google me”???

    I’ve encountered almost willfully obtuse and shockingly gruff, rude customs agents, and have seen them abuse visitors to America. I know that unlucky travelers come upon power-mad jackasses who’ve seized on 9/11 to exercise their sadistic, authoritarian, I’m-in-charge-here impulses. So it’s possible that SRK was just very unlucky at the airport and received a very rude welcome to the United States.
    But at first blush, this seems almost laughably transparent as a PR stunt. I suspect SRK and his PR people are peeing their pants with satisfaction over how well it has paid off.

    But I could be wrong. In which case I join Sitaji in apologizing to SRK!

  2. According to US Immigration, he wasn’t detained for two hours, but for one, and that too mostly because his luggage couldn’t be located…

    And in any case I too would have detained him for well over that amount of time with all the questions I have for him too! :-D He’s probably lucky the customs agent didn’t recognize him!!

    • memsaab-ji,
      LOL on He’s probably lucky the customs agent didn’t recognize him!! Can you even imagine the fun one could have if they did recognize the great filmi hero? Indeed the story has the scent of a publicity stunt.

  3. Be careful what you SRK fans say! :P From here:

    “…Shah Rukh Khan does not need publicity. I am too big a star for that. Those who say that I did all this to gain publicity for my film have a cheap mentality.”

    SRK standing up for something, for once! But of course, I don’t think much weight is put on the person v the actor, and it’s not like what he says on Saturday v what he said today matters much anyway.

    I’m just surprised at the number of people who’ve expressed surprise at this incident. They’re hopelessly out of touch, or in denial. That same article quotes SRK, “99 per cent of the times…such checks have happened with me.” So it’s really more of a process streamlining issue than anything else, but that’s a major shift from the message (which has apparently applied 99 percent of the time!) from the initial couple days.

    And as much as I appreciate what My Name is Khan is said to be about, those expecting a Slumdog-type response to it in the U.S. because of a common distributor will likely be disappointed for the very reason they found the SRK questioning ‘surprising’. (Do hope I’m wrong, though.)

      • theBollywoodFan-ji,

        And as much as I appreciate what My Name is Khan is said to be about, those expecting a Slumdog-type response to it in the U.S. because of a common distributor will likely be disappointed for the very reason they found the SRK questioning ’surprising’.


        Super fishy indeed. Lots of press, mission accomplished hai! You know I have to say, I’ve been searched and pulled from the line to the extra search and I’m a gori extra, I mean a gori without the last naam of Khan. Reason being, I most often fly alone and most often buy my ticket last minute, which automatically puts you (or at least in the recent past) on a list for higher scrutiny. I never was able to report it and make anything of it, lekin I’m simply a gori extra, waiting for a movie to promote. I still LOVE SRK, My mother India, The glorious USA, and sometimes even the TSA.

        Thanks for your visit bhai. Looking forward to hearing about your Sonu concert experience.

  4. Bah, I wrote about SRK and how I thought he was being a crybaby on my Facebook status message and I have been bombarded by comments ever since :-p The thread refuses to die down!

    And I have been searched and questioned so many times back in the day when my hubby and I few standby (he was an airline employee). We always got one way tickets (being standby) and always had carryon luggage only (again, because we never knew if we’d be bumped off) and we always accorded 20 extra minutes to go through security.

    I don’t ever remember making a fuss about it. Unlike SRK and some of my livid desi friends, I was and am aware that these precautions make this country safer. What’s mere inconvenience compared to that??! And hey, the ‘my surname is Muslim’ stuff is crap! John McCain, Edward Kennedy and Al Gore are not ‘Khans’ and nobody ever made special considerations for them :p

    • pitu-ji,
      Exactly! See, even we think this and are SRK fans. Any last minute travel yields questioning. And if you were standby, one way, forget about NOT being questioned. I know it’s uncomfortable and upsetting since it’s happend to me. I have just gotten used to it and am pleased when I’m not pulled aside for the extra scrutiny. Like I commented about to TBF, it’s happened to me and I’m not a Khan and a plain gori. I’m sorry for any trouble he had to go through, as I would be with anyone. It will simply allow him to better relate to the trials of the masses. The airport is a stress filled place most of the time, even when things go smoothly, there’s always excitement in the air and tension. Hota hai. :)

      • This is such a can of worms, Sita-ji. This’ll probably be the last I say of it. :)

        I agree with you both on SRK, but determining the scope of the last name issue through merely the lens of this SRK incident would be myopic. Even the U.S. court system has acknowledged that discrimination based on last names (and nationalities) exists! It would probably be a good idea to read some of their texts and what the final verdicts were (to cases that made it as far high as even the Supreme Court), before trivializing the issue as ‘crap’. The nature and extent of the differences in experiences don’t compare.

        Back to the SRK incident…I wish every political figure in India who’s commenting angrily on this incident focused on improving things in India! It’s not that the country is good with its treatment of minorities. I know I appreciate the U.S. a *lot, lot* more after having lived through Bombay of December 1992.


  5. Hi Sitaji (or should I say Suzy??),
    I like the blogs that you have posted on this site and have ben following it for sometime.

    I am the head of community at a site called MoovieShoovie(www.moovieshoovie.com). Moovieshoovie aims at providing good quality Indian cinema and has a lot of the old time classics like Golmaal and Anand. In fact we have recently launched a review writing contest and just announced the results.

    We would love it if you would become a member. When you do find the time, please check the website out and if there is any movie there you would like to watch, let me know. I can send you an invite so that you can try it at no cost.


  6. TheBollywoodFan-ji, Adab!

    You are so correct about understanding that looking at the,

    name issue through merely the lens of this SRK incident would be myopic.

    It is for sure a can of worms and there are too many factors at play that can’t be teased out in order to examine this effectively. You make a great point about the outrage being better directed in another direction. No matter what, I would never want anyone to be mistreated, unfortunately, sometimes it happens and it happens unjustly. On a more superficial note, which is how I roll, all I want to know is how come I haven’t read about how HOT the airport is where he was stopped. I could not belief how hot they kept the temp at the Newark airport.

    Thanks for stopping in dost!

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