'Why the fuss, SRK?'

No big deal

'Why the fuss, SRK?'

King Khan’s in the news. And for once it was not for his kingly exploits in Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan hit the headlines when he was treated like any other commoner at the Newark Airport by the US immigration officials.

The king was in august company though. His ill-treatment followed a similar treatment meted out to APJ Abdul Kalam, former president. The latest incident sent the chattering classes into a overdrive. While some regarded the shoddy treatment meted out to Bollywood actor as national affront, others felt that the incident was best ignored as the US officials were merely doing their duty.

Metrolife spoke to a few ordinary Bangaloreans, some of whom have had bitter experiences and some others who hold a strong opinion on the issue of detention at airports.

Rafi Ali Khan has been detained at Mumbai, Chennai, Riyadh and Jeddah. He travels across the world and visits his parents regular in Riyadh. “I always get detained during a riot or tension within the country. But I have not felt any pressure at any of the Western airports. I was once even accused of carrying a fake passport and humiliated for speaking in more than one language. The immigration officer was surprised that I could speak more than two languages. This shows that they’re cautious and alert,” says Rafi.

 Benazir has never travelled across to a foreign country but she forecasts that her name will spell trouble for her some day. “I am mentally prepared to face a cross-examination of sorts. The officers will just be doing their duty and what can be more fulfiling than that. They’re tightening security to secure their nation and its people,” says Benazir. She reasons while it is a little disturbing it is nothing compared to terror unleashed by a group of people who have all got their religiosity wrong.

Moushumi Chakraborty avers that people with names that arouse some kind of suspicion are detained and examined. “There’s so much of hype only because it’s Shah Rukh Khan. In Europe, one is retained based on the colour of his or her skin. I feel this stringent security will instill the fear of God in the perpetrators of terror.”

Shammy Choraria
echoes Moushumi’s views when she says if SRK was detained only for security reasons then she sees nothing wrong in it. “Everybody should be treated equally irrespective of who they are, whether it is Bill Gates or an ordinary person. Even if George Bush comes to India, he must be thoroughly scanned?” she reasons.

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