Open letter to SRK: ‘King Khan’, you bowed to hate, hate won

'King Khan', after you sold out to hate and fear in a deplorable deal with Thackeray's MNS, what do we call you?

Written by Ujjal Dosanjh | Updated: December 13, 2016 10:09 am
Actor Shah Rukh Khan File/Express Photo/Pavan Khengre Actor Shah Rukh Khan met with MNS chief Raj Thackeray over the release of his film Raees. File/Express Photo/Pavan Khengre

Dear Shah Rukh,

I hope you do not mind me calling you Shah Rukh. Like most Indians I feel I know you. But then again, perhaps I don’t. First it was Karan Johar prostrating himself before the self-appointed extra constitutional arbiters of Indian patriotism, the MNS– an edifice of fanaticism and hate. I never thought you, the King, could succumb to such illegal and unseemly conduct of any goons, let alone the right wing religious fanatic variety. I had once defended in writing your freedom to speak when you had thought out loud about an increasing sense of insecurity being felt by many people in India. Until yesterday you were King Khan, the king of most Indian hearts. Now, one is left to wonder what you really are.

I don’t know Mahira Khan. I am told she has an impressive screen presence. And you chose her to be your leading lady. You must have seen something in her to ask her to venture across the barb-wired border and appear in Raees despite the thorny Indo-Pak relations.

You know that the word “raees” means “chief”, with a significant whiff of strength and power emanating from it. You were the King and had power that held sway over countless Indian hearts. Raj Thackeray and his hate spewing followers had no legal power to enforce their diktats. That is why they threatened to disrupt the peace and prevent “Raees” from being shown in the theatres unless you paid obeisance to Thackeray and agreed to not have Mahira attend the release of “Raees”.

It must have been in a moment of fear or cowardice- you may call it desire to save your Raees from ruin and I would reluctantly understand– you decided to transform from the King in you into a beggar, clutching the beggar’s bowl in your frightfully folded hands and walk over to seek MNS’ mercy. In that moment you, just as Karan Johar had done before you– granted them the right to be the self appointed ‘guardians’ of peace and order in Mumbai and the surrounding areas. At that moment you mortgaged forever your freedom, particularly your freedom of expression, to MNS and any other group of goons who may choose to mimic them now or later.

Also Read | Shah Rukh Khan promised Raj Thackeray he won’t work with Pakistani actors in future: MNS

You might argue that you couldn’t count on Chief Minister Fadnavis having any or sufficient backbone to come to your aid and put Thackeray and his followers in their place. You knew he had once already surrendered to Raj Thackeray the chief ministerial power and responsibility to maintain law and order by sacrificing Johar at the MNS’ altar. But then again, life is all about choosing to fight rather than foregoing one’s dignity. You chose to be stripped of your dignity.

You are one of the world’s wealthiest actors. You did not need to make more films just for money. I also know times do change and the hate of the MNS variety isn’t the kind of force that lasts forever. If people of goodwill band together they can always defeat the forces of darkness and evil. And then there is Mahatma Gandhi’s love is truth, truth is love–a power mightier than a million Hitlers. All the world needs, is a powerful voice of resistance against evil. Yours could have been that voice. Unfortunately you failed to become that voice.

What kind of India is being ushered in where the tallest pillars of the film world like Karan and you keep falling one by one to pure hate and evil? Vast majority of Indians are decent, honest, peace loving and hardworking. They are also freedom loving. If you had resisted the suppression of your freedom of expression, they would have stood with you. Had you told the pseudo patriots to mind their own damn business, many Indians would have been ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the ensuing fight.

But unfortunately you chose surrender to evil, SRK. You bowed to hate. Hate won. And the love–far deeper and more important than the one for which you routinely sing and dance in the movies–the love of fundamental liberty and freedom of expression lost too. ‘King’ Khan, since you are no longer worthy of being called the “King”, please tell us what to call you after your extremely deplorable deal with the merchants of hate of the MNS?

Your friend,

Ujjal Dosanjh

Dosanjh is former Premier of British Columbia, and former Canadian Minister of Health. Views expressed by the author are personal.

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  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Dec 12, 2016 at 10:18 pm
    Laws should be ped against goonda raj
    Reply
    1. A
      Akshay garg
      Dec 12, 2016 at 3:04 pm
      Why do people put all the burden on film stars? Why can't people digest the fact that they are also like other people, doing their jobs for themselves and their family? lt;br/gt;Nationalists want them prove their nationalism. They want them to be the torch bearers of newly found nationalist energies and anti-stan movements. These people go to any length to har those who don't fall in their line. They abuse the actors, their families and vandalize the cinema halls in response.lt;br/gt;On the other hand, liberals like you want them to be your representatives in this counter movement. You want them to stand against these forces when its liberals like you, the common man, who don't even come publicly to support such actors when they are bashed on social media and roads.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;It is politicians who represent people not the artists. We are expecting wrong things from the wrong people. And when the State fails to provide security to business and maintain law and order, then its people who need to question the State. But here people are questioning the business. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Lastly, I'll end with a famous line of Voltairelt;br/gt;"Its dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong"
      Reply
      1. P
        prakash gotimukul
        Dec 12, 2016 at 10:01 am
        SRK has no charestor. He lives for money and die for money. Country and mother land has no meaning for him.
        Reply
        1. I
          Ikok
          Dec 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm
          Living in Radical India is different from Secular India
          Reply
          1. A
            aj
            Dec 12, 2016 at 6:33 pm
            Thank you Ujjwal, couldn't agree with you more. See, double standards is practised world over, India is no exception. And so is greed for money.lt;br/gt;There is no one who wants to really practise Indianism....give up your jeans, sneakers, pizzas from McDonald. And then talk.lt;br/gt;And I am enled to my view point, just as anyone else, srk, ss etc.
            Reply
            1. A
              Alok chaudhary
              Dec 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm
              So aptly articulated the feeling of Indian, even I feel sorry of u Shahrukh surrendering to bunch of goons..
              Reply
              1. B
                BhasadAlAssad
                Dec 13, 2016 at 10:36 am
                Srk is another scared individual just like us. Does not business to go bad.
                Reply
                1. D
                  Darsh
                  Dec 12, 2016 at 3:54 pm
                  Raees movie is based on life of Abdul Latif, a known criminal , terrorist whose name figured in 1993 blasts, responsible for killing hundreds of Indians. lt;br/gt;When SRK decided to act in that movie to glorify the criminal, that is when he bowed to hate. lt;br/gt;Wonder why no journos protested for glorifying terrorists.
                  Reply
                  1. E
                    Earthkeeper
                    Dec 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm
                    He may have lots of money but he doesn't have army of goons like Mr thackeray lt;br/gt;So I guess no choice lt;br/gt;Hey Hitler !
                    Reply
                    1. E
                      Emmess
                      Dec 13, 2016 at 3:42 pm
                      SRK if tomorrow MNS say one should not pee will you stop peeing in future ! Since when have the moderate indians started taking dictations from the extremists!!!
                      Reply
                      1. H
                        HJ
                        Dec 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm
                        Oh... so SRK speaking of intolerance was a freedom of expression and him saying this now is not his freedom of expression today! I see, Mr.Dosanjh, you are among those few smart journalists! Speak of double standards!
                        Reply
                        1. H
                          HJ
                          Dec 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm
                          Or alternatively, can you please logically explain why SRK speaking of intolerance earlier was not an act of cowardice out of fear of so called fundamentalists on the other side or of terrorism?
                          Reply
                          1. D
                            Danny
                            Dec 12, 2016 at 11:02 am
                            Why don't you write a similar open letter to the ones who are spreading hatred?lt;br/gt;Anyone with a family and their own self at stake will find a way to not get tangled with such goons!lt;br/gt;Despite their openly fanning violence no action has been taken yet by anyone I'm power, shouldn't you be writing an open letter to them? lt;br/gt;SRK has spoken out in the past and has seen what follows, and has also seen how every one isolates you in such times...lt;br/gt;Amir, Karan and whosoever has spoken out has faced the wrath and faced it alone...where were you hiding back then? lt;br/gt;Grow some depth before barking out!
                            Reply
                            1. H
                              Himanshu
                              Dec 13, 2016 at 4:13 pm
                              Mr Ujjal lt;br/gt; I was always keen to meet pseudo-liberals like you who utter out in most challenging and daunting words specially at times when one takes a swing over our dear neighbor 'Porkistan'. lt;br/gt; Why don't you go and check caliber of Indian artists comparing to that of artists? Do you feel we don't have more talented actors here, it all comes back to earning money, imagine what will happenlt;br/gt; when so called talented Mahira Khan will be introduced against our own not so talented but so much hyped SRK in stan. His film will make money, money you or me will never earn in our life time. lt;br/gt; I don't support Thakrey but I also don't agree with people like you, it's good to be emotional about One's own nation, but being so sensitive about these Bollywood Charlatans is really a bad idea.lt;br/gt; Stop watching dumb Indian porkish movies and wasting ur money, instead go and play in the field, enjoy with family and say it loudly.. Bharat Mata Ki Jai!!
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                              1. L
                                Lovely
                                Dec 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm
                                SRK is now with patriotic forces
                                Reply
                                1. L
                                  Lovely
                                  Dec 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm
                                  Why anybody should work with actors?
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    Kaushik
                                    Dec 13, 2016 at 5:12 am
                                    Nonsense article. Learn to accept movies as entertainment
                                    Reply
                                    1. L
                                      Lisa
                                      Dec 13, 2016 at 7:43 pm
                                      Shahrukh - you did the right thing for your movie. Dhande me Jo sahi wo sahi........
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        Matty
                                        Dec 13, 2016 at 11:00 am
                                        What option was poor SRK left with? Should he have allowed violence and vandalism to have happened to show his bravado? Should he have needlessly risked loss of property and probably life as well? It is not his fallacy that he has to suck up to such people. It is people's fault who have made Thackeray a powerful force to be reckoned and those who have tolerated his presence in Maharashtra by not making relentless protests to bring down his edifice of hooliganism!!!
                                        Reply
                                        1. C
                                          Common Man
                                          Dec 12, 2016 at 10:45 am
                                          raj thackeray must've been pAid decent amount for it... and devendra (spineless) fadnavis got brokerage. Shame on fadnavis who cannot give security to people of the state.
                                          Reply
                                          1. G
                                            George
                                            Dec 12, 2016 at 5:01 pm
                                            The headline is flawed. We hate and will destroy those who wage war on us ,that too not by a straight forward war but a dubious war on innocents by terrorists sponsored by s. Ok artists should not be involved in this, but why can't these artists condemn terrorism against India, especially when they are making money in India?
                                            Reply
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