Happy 4 Days Until Shahrukh’s Birthday!

I got pretty silly yesterday.  Let’s see if I can pull it back and be serious.  The most admirable things Shahrukh has done.

4. Fearlessly calling out “intolerance” in India, despite the affect it might (and did) have on the box office for his next film.

Image result for dilwale protests

3. Agreeing to appear in the movie Fan, a completely impractical and noncommercial, and yet brilliant, film which would only be made with his support and consent.  Truly, a decision of art over commerce.

Image result for fan poster

2. A 20 year history of presenting a template for Indian men of a good faithful husband, a loving and involved father, and a marriage of equal partners.

Image result for shahrukh gauri

1. 1. Refusing to back down when the Shiv Sena tried to stop the release of My Name is Khan.  I’ve been brought this up a couple of times in these birthday posts, but this was the moment when I realized a movie star could do more than just being a movie star.  That Shahrukh had certain values which were stronger than his need for power or fame or even love.

Image result for my name is khan protests

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2 thoughts on “Happy 4 Days Until Shahrukh’s Birthday!

    • A year ago, after there were a couple of lynchings and other incidents of religious violence, a movement started among artists in India to return their national awards in protest. So this topic was kind of swirling around in the air, and in Shahrukh’s birthday interview, he was asked what he thought about it. Part of his response was a joking comment that he would have to win a national honor first, then he could think about returning it. But he also said “It is stupid… It is stupid to be intolerant and this is our biggest issue, not just an issue… Religious intolerance and not being secular in this country is the worst kind of crime that you can do as a patriot.” and “there is intolerance, there is extreme intolerance… there is, I think… there is growing intolerance.”

      I think he knew exactly what he was saying and what the cost could be and why he said it, because he is very good in interviews and he must have known he would get some question about it and probably had a statement prepared. Politicians immediately jumped on it and started rallying the base, protests across the country, the Dilwale box office took a definite hit. But, on the other hand, the Bihar state election was going on at the same time, and at the last minute it swung away from the BJP, despite a statement by the candidate repudiating the anti-SRK remarks from the national party and reiterating his support for SRK.

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