The issues are different and their attackers vary, but Bollywood’s four most powerful actors are under attack. Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan say they’ve done nothing wrong and refuse to buckle as protests, insults and threats come flying.
SRK is being asked “to go make movies in Pakistan” by the Shiv Sena; the Karni Rajput community is tearing down posters of Salman Khan’s Veer; Aamir has been labeled an ‘idiot’ for blogging in support of Pakistani cricket players and Saif mocked for an ‘undeserved’ Padma Shri.
“As an Indian, I’m not ashamed, guilty or unhappy about what I said. Neither am I sorry,” says Shah Rukh, speaking to media in New York. Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab said: “This is not Shah Rukh, but the Khan in him that’s saying all this. Shah Rukh is not needed in Mumbai, he should go to Pakistan if he wants to speak in favour of Pakistani players.” Shiv Sena on Monday said they would not let SRK’s films release in Mumbai until he apologises.
Aamir earned Sena wrath by reiterating what SRK said, “National boundaries are man-made. If someone were a good cricketer, then I would want him in my team. I don’t care which country he belongs to,” blogged Aamir. Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna fired back in its editorial: “In real life, Aamir and Shah Rukh have been proved ‘2 Idiots’, as both are making stupid statements backing Pak cricketers.”
Saamna also took a dig at Saif Ali, “Nowadays Padma awards are being ‘distributed’ to taporis.” Saif said he did “feel undeserving of the award” but that it was a government award and he would respect it.
Salman, meanwhile, is facing the heat in Rajasthan, with a Rajput community taking exception to a dialogue in film Veer, “Gaddari to maine Rajputon se seekhi hai.” On Saturday, Shri Rajpur Karni Sena men attacked theatres screening the movie.
Shah Rukh Khan
Shiv Sena says no SRK movie will release in Maharashtra until he apologises for saying he would take Pakistani players in his IPL team. Protests take place outside his house.
Shiv Sena calls him an idiot for blogging that he would take a Pakistani player if he owned an IPL team and tells him to go work in Lahore.
Rajput communities protest against dialogue in Salman Khan’s Veer. Multiplexes attacked, posters torn, furniture broken and a ban threatened in Udaipur and Jaipur.
Saif Ali Khan
Shiv Sena and others mock the government’s Republic Day Padma Shri Award to Saif. “It (the award) is now being given to any tapori,” says Shiv Sena.