Shahrukh Khan opened up in Outlook Turning Points magazine about what it means to be a Muslim in India post 9/11 attack. He also features on the cover of the publication. The magazine has been published in association with The New York Times newspaper.
Shahrukh is one of the few Indians who is recognized worldwide. He writes: “I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India.”
“There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country – this even though I am an Indian, whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave and return what they refer to my original homeland,” added the superstar.
The 47-year-old actor is married to a Hindu, Gauri Khan, and is blessed with two childern – Aryan and Suhana.
“I gave my son and daughter names that could pass for generic (pan-India and pan-religious) ones – Aryan and Suhana. The Khan has been bequeathed by me so they can’t really escape it.”
“I pronounce it with my epiglottis when asked by Muslims and throw the Aryan as evidence of their race when non-Muslims enquire. I imagine this will prevent my offspring from receiving unwarranted eviction orders or random fatwas in the future,” he wrote.
There was a point when the actor was sick and tired of being mistaken for some who shared the same name as that of Shahrukh and so he made a film subtly titled ‘My Name Is Khan’ (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point.
Shahrukh was also interrogated at the airport for hours about his last name when, while promoting My Name Is Khan in America for the first time.