Why is the "Bollywood sena" not taking a stand against the Shiv Sena?, ask Shah Rukh Khan's miffed fans who say a majority of the film fraternity has chosen to keep quiet on the Shiv Sena attacking the superstar for his stand on Pakistani players in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
While celebrities like Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan and Anupam Kher have come out in support of Shah Rukh on social networking website Twitter, no one is ready to speak on the issue when approached due to the "Shiv Sena fear", say SRK fans.
"Shah Rukh is the only actor with guts. The other Bollywood actors are scared of Shiv Sena and are keeping quiet. Don't apologise SRK," Mumbai-based Abhijeet Survase told IANS.
Added an exasperated Punit Agarwal from Kolkata: "They might be going online in his support on Twitter but are actually going off when it is comes to speaking out loud in support of Shah Rukh? The heroes of Bollywood can stand up against wrong only in reel, but not in reality. They might be having macho bodies but actually are paper tigers."
Shah Rukh, who owns IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, is facing the ire of the Shiv Sena for his comments favouring the inclusion of Pakistani players in the third season of the IPL.
The Shiv Sena has sought a public apology from the star and threatened to ban his films in Mumbai, starting with the much-awaited "My Name Is Khan" slated to release Feb 12.
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan is among the many who have reserved their comments on the issue for fear that their quotes might get misconstrued by the media.
Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Bipasha Basu, Celina Jaitley, Preity, Shilpa Shetty and Sunny Deol chose the mute path when approached by IANS on the issue.
"Why is the Bollywood sena not standing against Shiv Sena? Why is Bollywood not standing up against their own fraternity member when he is being harassed by some rigid group for no fault of his?" asked Poonam Iyengar, a Shah Rukh aficionado in Chennai.
Reasoned Deepti Malhotra from the capital: "Why will they speak out? Don't they have to stay in Mumbai and work there? Everyone knows how orthodox, stubborn and savage these Shiv Sainiks are? Why would the celebrities want to declare a war against the self-proclaimed baap (father) of Mumbai and dig their own graves, eh?"
Noted actor Kabir Bedi, however, supported the King Khan publicly.
"I defend to death Shah Rukh Khan's right to express himself because that is his constitutional right and nobody can stop him from using it," Bedi told IANS.