Saturday, August 15, 2009

Enough with the Shah Rukh Khan thing

Alright, so the King Khan got stopped at Newark airport and got questioned. BIG DEAL !!!!! Who doesn't get frisked or questioned these days??? I don't understand why the media, the film industry, the government and Shah Rukh Khan himself are making a big fuss about it.

Yes, it is upsetting and yes at times embarassing. I have been stopped plenty of times at airports to be frisked and questioned. Initially I used to think it was some form of racial abuse, but now I understand why they do it. The fact that people stop me at the airport to ask questions makes me feel safer, it makes me feel that they're doing their job. I wouldn't deny that the colour of our skin, our names or the fact that we look South Asian has nothing to do with them stopping us. But I think it is necessary. Haven't most terrorist attacks originated from our part of the world lately? They have all the reason in the world to be suspicious and cautious. Blame your own fellow men who are involved in terrorist activities. Stop blaming the poor immigration officer who was only doing his job.

The thing is, I don't see why Shah Rukh Khan shouldn't have been stopped. A lot of people from the film industry have been found guilty of various offences, both minor and major. Besides, isn't Bollywood known to have close links with the underworld? Why then should Shah Rukh Khan make such a big fuss about being questioned? Why isn't this made a big issue when normal Indians, who do not have fame to come to their rescue, are frisked and questioned? I normally never agree with anything that Salman Khan says or does, but today he was absolutely right. Things like these are normal, given the current security concerns. There's nothing bizzare about it.

The West is no doubt more fearful of the Muslim world or even the 'Third world' than it has ever been in history and they have reason to be. Ambika Soni's version of 'tit-for-tat' by frisking American visitors just sounds ridiculous. Would you frisk someone only because they frisked your countrymen or would you frisk them because they posed a genuine security threat? Yes, there is a racist dimension to it, but the primary concern is security at the end of the day and I do not blame the airport officials. Get a life and move on.