Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who is more hilarious?

"Because my name is Khan" ran some headlines on TV channels. Then we had "exclusives" with Shahrukh from the US, who tried to explain what happened. And then our media drew it's own conclusion, and then ran the story for a full 2 days (including independence day). And then guess what - On the third day, the media asks us if we over-reacted!

I am no big fan of Shahrukh, but what really bothers me is the media's US-is always-right-with-security-measures attitude. Not one channel ran a complete story, not one channel tried to ascertain what exactly happened.

1. What was Shahrukh questioned for 2 hours?
2. Why did it take 2 hours to figure out he is innocent (I think they had to stop questioning because the Embassy intervened, else it might have taken longer)?
3. In some cases, I have read, that questioning takes more than 2 hours too. Is there a set procedure that the US officials follow when asking questions, or is it random?
4. Is the possibility of the questions being irrelevant and embarassing nil and totally absent?
5. Shahrukh himself said that he is not against questioning, but he is hurt by silly and irrelevant questions. Is it a sin to contemplate thinking for a moment he might actually be saying the truth?
6. Maybe because he is a celebrity, we are coming to know that something might be wrong with the questioning process. Or maybe there is nothing wrong, but shouldn't we atleast debate it?

None of these questions seemed to have mattered to our media, and Sagarika Ghose in particular. In what is her favorite topic, she again rants on her blog here about how stupid Shahrukh Khan has been in dealing with the whole issue. Sagarika, I don't think anybody with a sane mind would endorse any kind of discrimination even if it were to have happened in India. So, your generalization that we should keep quiet because Indians also discriminate is plain naive. Shahrukh never said "no checks please, I am a bollywood star", but as is your wont, you created it for a catchy headline!

Worse, you even suggest that we should have a "Let's stand in a queue day" just like we have Independence Day and Republic Day. I will leave it to the judgement of the reader as to where you would want to rate this comment in the world of ridicule. Shame on you Sagarika, for equating Independence Day with something that does not even qualify to be a joke in a comic book.

Would you kindly bother to answer the above questions, Sagarika?

PS: Why should Shahrukh not talk about "geo-politics, international diplomacy"? Does it hurt your ego that someone is more hilarious in these matters than you are?


Anonymous said...

This is interesting. I also read another article that said that the detention was for 65 mins (not 2 hours) and come to think of it, it does take longer for a case to be called up, especially in a government office. Do we know how long the actual questioning lasted? I think that the 2 hours is blown out of proportion.

Any person hurt by the questioning process should be able to express his/her discontent. I would do the same to my friends if I went through the questioning. It so happens that for Shah Rukh yields a much higher media influence than I can and hence the news. The whole media may have gone overboard; but that's exactly the point so that the next time this happens, the immigration officers think twice before pulling people with a certain name aside.


I, Me, Myself ! said...

Thanks for the comment Aditya. Even I don't know the exact time for which he was questioned ... guess the media hyped up that too. Or maybe they rounded off 65 minutes to 2 hours ;-) ! This is exactly the problem I am talking about. We are never given complete information, and in some cases, we are not even given accurate information. We are asked to debate on hearsay, and then we are chided for over reacting!

I don't see a problem with the immigration officials pulling someone aside, but if the system has flaws and someone is trying to bring it our notice, the least we can do is listen to him/her, not blindly demonise him and in Sagarika's case, also lecture on morality. We are well off without the Suhel Seths and Lord Meghnad Desais expressing their opinion.

- Sudhir

Sandeep said...

I dont know if the things are right or wrong on a broader perspective it could be a scenario with mix of all things. Nobody can deny that still Asians are treated by some of foriegn nationals with an iota of doubt and a superiority feeling. Adding to that the kind of backlash 9/11 has created in their minds.

On the contrary there was an interesting statement by Salman Khan on this issue.....he said dont blow things over the top......these things are common happens to every other person.....and it could be the main reason taht post 9/11 there has not been a single episode like that. Brawny and brainy :) isn't? !!!!!

Anyways Sagarika Ghosh has a very trivial impact in the field of journo with her inept attitude and lack of wisdom does not matter much to anybody at all.

Stand in a queue day :-)) :-)) !!!!

SysErr said...

1) Shahrukh Khan is grilled because his last name is "Khan".

What if TSA had some intelligence inputs about some "Khan" who is sneaking into the country. We cannot expect intelligence reports with full name, social security number and their gmail id.

2) Shahrukh is a celebrity with huge fan-following.

Agreed. However may not make a difference to some dumb security officer doing his job. How about a superstar from Lebanon or Egypt ?

How about a brash response from Shahrukh that ticked off the officials ? Given the whims and fancies of Bollywood, we cannot rule out such a possibility. Especially when he admitted that the questions were "silly and irrelevant".

Having valiantly defended Homeland Security thus far, those officials who supposedly "grilled" Shahrukh clearly have never heard the words "Internet Explorer" and "Google".

And I do not want to waste my time writing about media hype.

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