August 15th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   Comments Off on SHAHRUKH KHAN DETAINED IN US
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According to latest news, Super star Shahrukh Khan was detained at US Newark airport at New Jersey, and was questioned for over two hours, probably because of his surname, on Friday night. He was allowed to go only after Indian Embassy officials vouched for him. Shah Rukh was on his way to Chicago to attend an Independence Day parade.

The incident was reported on various Indian TV news channels on Saturday, 15 August 2009, India’s 62nd Independence Day. Speaking to a TV news journalist about the incident he said, “They said my name was common to a name that had popped up on their computer”…  “I was taken to a room and questioned for two hours.”

“This is not the first time this happened to me,” said Khan.

The incident comes close on the heels of the ex-president APJ Abdul Kalam being frisked earlier by the officials of Continental Airlines in April 2009 at the orders of their boss. There was an uproar in the Parliament and  MPs expressed their outrage over Kalam being reportedly subjected to a full body check and even asked to remove his footwear as he waited on the aerobridge to board the Newark-bound flight.

Shah Rukh said that after he was stopped,  he sent messages to his home, his secretary and Congress MP Rajiv Shukla, who informed the Indian Mission which came to his rescue.

“I did feel bad. I felt angry. I am glad my family wasn’t there. God knows what they would have done to them,” Khan added.

“I had all the documents; they were asking me where I was going stay. I gave the name of FOX people with whom I had finalised a deal a few days ago. They wanted to know why I came here,” he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Saturday reacted angrily to Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan being detained at a US airport, saying it was not justified.

“I don’t think that this manner of detaining in the name of religion is justified. But in the United States of America several examples have surfaced where frisking takes place more than required, according to us,” She was talking to IBN news network,  as reported by them.

Why cant a Bollywood super star go to the US? Because his name is Khan?

Shah Rukh said he was taken to a room where many people were awaiting a second check on visa, most were Asians. “In fact many officers were vouching for me, some people were asking for autographs and a Pakistani fan even said he knew who I was”, said Khan.

What is wrong with the immigration system in the US.? Agreed, post 9/11, the security scenario has changed altogether but there are certain celebrities who have to be handled with care. They should not upset the applecart for no reason and spoil the otherwise affectionate relations between the two largest democracies in the world.

During the election campaign thousands of Indians tweeted on twitter in favour of Barrack Obama to ensure that ‘CHANGE’ which he desired, actually comes through. Indians were all for Obama.

The Clinton’s were and are, highly respected and revered when they visit this country. Will Obama see that these officials who have put Shah Rukh Khan to trouble are dealt with appropriately? Or will he, throw another diplomatic tantrum and let them get away  lightly.  (After all,  they were doing their duties in right earnest.)

The Ministry of External Affairs have not so far issued any statement on this issue.

“Incidentally, Shah Rukh Khan’s upcoming release is a movie by Karan Johar titled  – ‘My Name is Khan’.

Ravi Matah

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  1. Antofds Says:

    No one should be treated badly, especially at the time of entering a new country. It is about how effective, efficient the immigration system is to root out the real terrorists and not waste valuable time with bollywood superstars or ordinary people. The immigration officials are expected to possess at least average intelligence.

    In this case, the reason advanced by the US authorities to detain Sharukh was to confirm his identity. How long does it take to confirm the identity of a global icon. A google search would have produced a million links with photographs in seconds. It took 2 hours and that too after the intervention of the Indian Embassy. Apparently there was one thick headed US immigration official who didn’t listen to his colleagues, the Jet Airways staff and insisted on his own ways even as scores of fans kept taking Sharukh’s autograph. An intelligent approach would have saved time for themselves.

    This incident speaks volumes for the IQ level of the US officials and their unintelligent system. If this is only one small incident, one shudders to think of the colossal waste of tax payers money is setting up such unintelligent systems and manning them with morons and at the end leave little time to track real terrorists. They must be just plain dumb, arrogant or both.

    Some have said that Sharukh does not deserve any special treatment. Of course he doesnt. But they have all missed the point. Applying a dumb and arrogant approach indiscriminately on all people (with certain names) entering US does not make it the right approach.

    This is a shining proof of how low the IQ level of the immigration officer is.

  2. Kumkum Bhatnagar Says:

    Agreed that Mr. Sharukh Khan is a well known entity
    , but there are certain rules that have to be followed and certain protocols that have to be maintained.All this hue and cry was made on what we were told, but who knows what actually happened.Another thing that you might have noticed is that all these security measures have been taken only after 9/11 happened.Unless vigilance is maintained and each and every person is verified and scrutinised when they enter a country, how would you know about him or her.This is the only way to contain terrorism and stop it spreading its tentacles.This is what should be followed by all of us who are suffering from the scrouge of terrorism, instead of cribbing about normal security measures taken.I guess we should grow up now and live with the realities of life and not crib about small tribialities like these and not behave like spoiled brats!!

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