As the drama around actor Shah Rukh Khan’s detention at the New York airport on Thursday turned into a prestige war between India and US, the actor, himself, laughed it off with a generous dose of sarcasm. “Whenever I start feeling too arrogant, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kicked the star out of stardom,” Khan said, addressing the students at the Yale University where he was honoured as a Chubb Fellow.
Khan, 46, was detained by immigration officials after arriving from India in a private plane with Nita Ambani, wife of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani. Ambani’s daughter Isha is a student at Yale and is also president of the South Asian Society at the university. While Nita and the others were cleared immediately, Khan was stopped and given immigration clearance only after about two hours — an unpleasant replay of his detention at the Newark airport three years ago. “They (immigration officials) always ask me how tall I am and I always lie and say 5 feet 10 inches. Next time I am going to get more adventurous. (If they ask me) What colour are you, I am going to say white,” Khan joked. He said that he was “detained at the airport as always.”
The Indian government reacted strongly, demanding an apology from the US authorities, following which the US Customs and Border Protection Department sent a letter to the Indian Consulate expressing regret.
Despite the incident, Khan charmed Yale with his quotes such as, ‘The world will be unkind to you … not be able to see you. You must learn at such times, to be able to see yourself.” other actors who’ve faced airport trouble in the US.
Aamir Khan was strip searched and interrogated at the Chicago airport when he visited America in 2002.
In 2009, actor John Abraham was detained at New York airport by the FBI for having Afghanistan as one of the countries visited on his passport.
Irrfan Khan was detained at the Los Angeles Airport in 2008 and at the New York airport in 2009.
SRK in eminent company
Former defence minister George Fernandes was strip-searched twice at Washington airport, in 2002 and 2003
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam was frisked twice on the same day at NY airport in 2010
Former Indian Ambassador to US, Meera Shankar, was subjected to pat-down search in 2010.
And twitterati laugh with him NY airport authorities refuse to accept that the man detained is #SRK. The real him just doesn’t match the photoshopped pics they googled: Fake IPL Player
In some corner of Mumbai a Kunder surnamed guy must be smirking: RJ Dipp
US officials - “Tell us about Ra.One.”