Monday, 8 December 2008

Not my hero for nothing

Now back to my favourite topics.......some keywords being liberal, Muslim, SRK, tolerance, modern India.

Its time the liberal Muslim voice in India be heard. How long can we, who are part of the country's thinking class keep quiet about feelings we have long suppressed? A handful of Muslim intellectuals like Javed Akhtar, Farooq Sheikh, Shabana Azmi and Juzar Bandookwala have been crying themselves hoarse, but was anyone listening?

But here is someone who when he speaks, the whole of India listens. Yes I am talking about the man himself.. Sharukh Khan who without owing any allegiance to any political party and devoid of political ambitions has spoken out and as usual straight from the heart. Am talking about his now famous Dec 6, 2008 interview with CNN-IBN : The transcript is as follows:

PEACE AND TOLERANCE: Shah Rukh Khan slams fundamentalism in an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN.In an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan lashed out against religious fundamentalism and stressed on the importance of the youngsters being delivered the correct interpretation of religious text.

I am from Delhi. I have seen the riots in Delhi and when I came to Mumbai in 1993, I saw the blasts and now 26/11. More than a Mumbaikar, I feel like an Indian. And specifically because I would like to believe that I am an educated liberal Muslim, who has a Hindu wife and two kids, Shah Rukh said.

Underscoring the need for proper interpretation of religious texts, Shah Rukh said that it is pertinent that the youngsters are provided the correct reading of the Qoran.

Let me clarify, I have read the holy Qoran. It states that if you heal one man, you heal the whole mankind, and if you hurt one man, you hurt the whole mankind. Nowhere in the Qoran does it say that jihad will lead you to jannat (paradise), Shah Rukh said.As a matter of fact, he added, the book says that in a war, you can not kill any woman, you can not kill any child and you can not kill any animal, or destroy any crops.

The actor said that Jihad was supposed to be propagated by the Prophet himself but unfortunately now two versions of Islam exist.There is an Islam from Allah and — I am not being anti — very unfortunately, there is an Islam from the Mullahs. I appeal to all of them to please give the youngsters, the right reading of the Qoran, he said.I appeal to everyone, if we want to win this time, let's not allow ideological and religious stuff to come in our way. We've come together on a same platform. Let's use this fear in a better way and put it to better use. Fear is the greatest uniting force in the whole world, Shah Rukh added.

The actor also stressed the need for Indias youth to come forward and form a political party that is free of all religious prejudices and biases.There is corruption everywhere but if somewhere down the line someone moves away from it, I am there to support that person. Aamir said something brilliant in his blog that the youth need to form a political party. I am there to support them in any which way possible. There should be a law to ban all hardliner political parties, Shah Rukh said.


Tasneem said...

Hats off to SRK.I came across this news item in the Calgary Herald today. You may like to read it.

Bollywood hero to tackle Islam, terrorism in new movie

By Ivy Sam
December 8, 2008

India's top Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan, will star in a new movie exploring the issue of Islam in the post-9/11 world and the misperception that all Muslims are terrorists.

My Name is Khan tells the story of six people with Muslim surnames who suffer suspicion and prejudice years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

"The movie is about a Muslim person's strife (in telling) people that 'my name is Khan but I am not a terrorist,' " Khan told reporters after being conferred the governor's award in the southwestern Malaysian state of Malacca in recognition of his 2001 film One 2 Ka 4, which was set there and boosted its profile as a tourist destination.

The Indian Muslim actor, whose wife is Hindu, also condemned religious fundamentalism and denounced acts of violence, saying that the Qur'an does not preach terror.

"Islam does not in any which way tell you to be violent," he said. "I think the whole concept of jihad, the whole concept of warring needs to be explained as Allah meant it to be in the Qur'an," Khan said.

Filmmaker Karan Johar will direct while top Bollywood actress Kajol, who has acted in several blockbusters with Khan in the past, will co-star.

Filming is due to begin later this month in Los Angeles and is scheduled for release a year later, Khan said.

The Bollywood star's comments follow last week's 60-hour Mumbai siege in which 10 terrorists attacked multiple targets, killing 163 people including 26 foreigners.

honestinjun said...

Lovely article. Many thanks for sharing. As I have always maintained, SRK is special. He is not King Khan for nothing!

Tasneem said...

Gawd! You seem to be a diehard King Khan fan!

Tasneem said...

What's the latest on SRK?