In my last post about Shiv Sen’s reign of terror in Mumbai, I did not discuss a statement made by ShahRukh-not the one supporting inclusion of Pakistani players in the Indian Premier League (IPL)(India’s cricket league) but the one where he supports Pakistan as a “great neighbour”.
Image via Wikipedia
The Australian has quoted Khan as saying
“Pakistan is a great neighbour to have. We are great neighbours. They are good neighbours. Let us love each other,”
Now, Shah Rukh did a good job by asking for inclusion of Pakistani players in the IPL. It is a good thing for the sports and could also help improve relations between he two feuding neighbors at the people’s level. But it is difficult to make sense of his latter statement where is says that Pakistan is a good neighbour to have-for India.
Mumbai attacks were coordinated by terrorists in Pakistan, Pakistan is also involved in creating problems in Kashmir-aiding separatist movement there. Looking back to the years since Pakistan was created after the British left India, it is safe to say that no year has gone by where the two countries co-existed peacefully. There has always been this air of bitterness. It is not the Pakistan is the only bad guy here, but compared to India’s activities-Pakistan is clearly the one with most negatives.
So then why is ShahRukh Khan, loved by millions of Indians is choosing to ignore the pain inflicted upon his homeland by Pakistan and is calling them “great neighbors”??
I do not buy that he is doing so because he is a Muslim and has a soft spot for Pakistan-a Muslim nation; or that he has some ulterior motive related to his religion and Hindu majority India.
ShahRukh Khan sees no purpose in stocking the feud between two neighbors and wants the feud to end. Also, since his family is originally from Pakistan it is understandable that he wants better relations between the two countries. So his statement, from what I see, is a call for harmony, understanding and peace.
But it was a bad PR move making such statement. It just added to the fire of communalism and fear started by Shiv Sena. Also, it was a bit insensitive to say that Pakistan is a good neighbour when the memory of Mumbai attacks still fresh in people’s mind.
So what is the verdict? Shahrukh is guilty of being a little insensitive and bit PR challenged.It makes no sense calling him anti-India. Give him a break!