An interview by Shah Rukh Khan, excerpts of which were flashed on TV, has snowballed into a controversy with Pakistan, of all countries, taking potshots at India. The actor had merely said that being a Muslim, there have been times in which he has been asked to prove his patriotism to India.
Picking on the remark, Hafiz Saeed, a terrorist wanted by both India and the US, suggested that Khan move to Pakistan while Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rahman Malik asked India to provide security to Khan.
It is true that India isn’t the perfect democracy or secular state. There remains discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, religion, and region. But despite its flaws, India does offer its citizens a chance of better life and if wronged, a chance to set it right. Shah Rukh Khan’s success is proof that India’s secularism, despite its flaws, actually works.
For Pakistan to even talk about protecting minorities is laughable. This is the country that has over the decades seen sections of its people target the Hindus, the Ahmediyas, and, of late, the Shias and Barelvis.
Let us also remember that Shah Rukh Khan’s grandfather was a nationalist who chose to migrate to India in the 1940s, a time when Muslims were actually leaving India. Rahman Malik would do better to worry about minorities in his country, including fellow Muslims killed while offering prayers. Shah Rukh Khan is much safer here than he will ever be in Pakistan.