Frankly, I’m bewildered that SRK”s detention made the news. Nobody writes about it when ‘ordinary’ folks get detained. For crying out loud, I’ve been taken aside for a ‘secondary check’ on a domestic American flight in 2004 , though given the chaos of a summer travel weekend at Atlanta Airport, me and my friend Sid, were grateful for the check as it allowed us to skip the line and rush to our gate for our flight to Newark. Mind you, I was punch drunk on Absolut Kurant at the time.
However, SRK’s crying because he wasn’t afforded VIP treatment at Newark is puzzling to say the least and Ambika Soni’s hissy-fit of tit-for-tat reprisals is scary given that the woman actually ‘controls’ the media infrastructure in the country (was that the reason for the bizarre coverage?) My cousins have been stopped, my cousin brother, a British citizen was stopped at Newark for two hours because he kept on coming to the US (to meet his brother in New York). My cousin brother mind you is short and slightly plump. The only thing he could potentially attack in the US is a Doughnut stand. My cousin sister, born and brought up in Texas is constantly stopped, now, she is 5 foot nothing, a Doctoral student and well, pretty docile. But her reasoning is that her name is ‘Geetanjali’ and ends with ‘Ali’.
Listen, I find it bizarre that we are crying about this. Most people who cry would jump at an opportunity to move to the US, movie stars who crib would die to work in a Hollywood production. Some like Mallika Sherawat have decided that taking off all clothes (or wearing bizarre ones) is more productive there than here. The moral high ground statements coming from people who don’t face an iota of security in India stinks of bullshit, just as our cricketers refusal to the WADA tests on ‘privacy’ grounds.
Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, the US is a far more egalitarian society than India. C’mon would you see a half-Muslim half-Hindu become Prime Minister of India? Or a Dalit for that matter? Not anytime soon. But the Americans, despite their rednecks and the racists did elect Barack Obama. They don’t ban smut or TV shows on the basis it is ‘destroying society’. For crying out loud, can’t people see the irony in these statements.
I respect Shah Rukh Khan immensely, I am terribly proud of the fact that I went to the same school as he did. But our ‘V.I.P’s’ need a lesson in humility. Next time round, the Americans should stop Robert Vadra. Of course, that will have the entire Gandhi coterie up in arms, and you’ll see the Prime Minister forced to make a statement on the issue. The only thing I was grateful for is that I did not watch an iota of silly TV news yesterday.
PS: Amazing publicity for his new film which talks about just the same thing. Hmmm…