Now I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist but I’ve been watching the reports on Shah Rukh Khan being detained at Newark airport for over two hours on Saturday with rising interest and mixed feelings (which is probably why I haven’t known what to say on the subject until now, but lets give it a go…) The thing is there’s a lot of racial profiling going on yes, we knew that; the fact that the American ambassador Timothy J. Roemer called Shah Rukh Khan a ‘global icon’ and a welcome guest in America makes the incident at best a little embarrassing for America (thanks to the obviously ignorant reps at security check) and at worst, a pretty bad sign of what’s in store for the rest of us!
Did they do it despite knowing who he was? Doubtful. Although I hear that even as Shah Rukh was being led away, his fans continued to hound him for autographs, ironic. Apparently the 43-year-old actor was detained by immigration officials because his name was part of a common checklist prepared since the 9/11 attacks, i.e. Khan.
I realize it would be pretty preposterous to even speculate that U.S. immigration would have willingly played along for a publicity stunt for Kjo’s movie but it sure seems like brilliant timing! (I mean if you’re totally innocent and are by chance going to be detained for two hours by U.S. immigration because your name is Khan, you’d rather it happens when you’re about to appear in a movie about racial profiling titled My Name is Khan no?!) I’m just saying, look at the glass as half full :) Besides if America’s embarrassed enough maybe Obama’ll do a cameo in the movie. Yes we can?
According to Wikipedia My Name is Khan is the story of Rizwan Khan (Tanay Chheda) a Muslim child who grew up with his mother (Zarina Wahab) in Borivali, Mumbai in India and who suffers from Asperger* syndrome. As an adult Rizwan (Shahrukh Khan), falls in love with a Hindu single mother, Mandira (Kajol) who lives in San Francisco. While not focusing on the events of 9/11, the storyline explores the period afterwards. At that time, Rizwan is arrested and detained when authorities mistake his disability for “suspicious” behavior. After his arrest, he meets Radha (Sheetal Menon), a therapist who helps him overcome the ordeal. Rizwan then begins a journey to find and meet President Barack Obama (Christopher B. Duncan) in order to clear his name.
*Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, and people with it show significant difficulties in social interaction, along with stereotypes and other restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.