Art & Culture

Why SRK won't condemn Salman Khan's rape analogy

Lasyapriya Sundaram
Lasyapriya SundaramJul 02, 2016 | 10:58

Why SRK won't condemn Salman Khan's rape analogy

Shah Rukh Khan is every scribe’s delight. He is sharp, witty, articulate and charming. The "Badshah" as he is often referred to invariably makes for an engaging copy. However at a recent press conference when he met film journalists as the brand ambassador of a furnishing brand that he has been associated with for close to six years, the superstar seemed reticent.

Why is India’s most entertaining star, who has a way with words, choosing political correctness instead of being SRK?

In the past many adjectives have been used to describe the Khan who topped the Forbes List of Indian celebrities with highest earnings in 2015 but reticent doesn’t sit quite well on him.

Is his reticence a direct fallout of the backlash he faced when he voiced his opinions about the intolerance debate which raged on last year?

The actor was driven to apologise for his comments as fringe and fundamentalist groups threatened to disrupt and also went ahead and disrupted the release and screening of his film Dilwale at that time.

At the recently held press conference Khan either did not take on questions head on or stuck to being strictly diplomatic.

Sample this: on being asked about Salman Khan’s insensitive comment about feeling like a raped woman owing to the gruelling shoot of his upcoming film Sultan, the actor said, "Personally speaking, I don’t think I am anyone to be making a comment on this, I am so inappropriate myself. I have done some really wrong things myself in the last two years."

His response will make many of his fans think why the actor believes that what he said in the past was inappropriate. Is it inappropriate for a superstar of Shah Rukh Khan’s stature to speak out and make his stand clear about issues which concern society at large?


Is it right for various religious or political groups to attack his films for exercising his freedom of opinion? Is clamping down on voices of significance going to prevent stars from showing support or speaking out against what they feel is unjust?

Meanwhile, it wasn’t just that question which didn’t elicit a clear response from the actor. Questioned about his opinion on the censorship vs certification debate, Khan played it clever yet again. He said, "I don’t understand the issue. I make films intended for the family audience and I don’t have to face that problem."

Khan seems to have started the year on keeping it strictly diplomatic. At yet another brand endorsement event in the capital last month when Tanmay Bhat’s video spoofing a face-off between Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar made headlines for being disrespectful, SRK categorically refused to engage in the debate which questioned the freedom of stand up-comics to practise their craft without censorship.

SRK played it safe and said, "It’s better for me to be silent than voice my opinion about it."

One of India’s most eloquent speakers who charms students at Universities of repute like Yale and Indian Institute of Management with his brand of irreverence and tongue-in-cheek humour when doling out advice seems to have suddenly put a lid on expressing his thoughts and opinions.


Isn’t his brand of humour one of the key characteristics which sets him apart from other politically correct to point of being boring celebrities? 

However, the star who has more than 20 million followers on Twitter does take refuge in humour and keeps it strictly apolitical even when commenting about something like "Brexit" which has been the crux of heated debates in political circles and otherwise.

"I c this trend in News where leaving of someone or something is headlined as Rexit or Brexit.So if I leave from sumwhere am I Sexit??"

Shah Rukh Khan @iamsrk 22 June 

What’s more, he makes it abundantly clear that try as the media might he is not going to fall prey to the headline seeking mentality and keep his tweets simply cryptic, "It wouldn’t be a cryptic one if I was going to elaborate. But having said that, I have been reading, I sometimes comment on what I read."

Brands want SRK to endorse their products as he has always been a favourite with the advertising world despite being brazen.

He might turn up late for his media engagements but will never flinch even once when bombarded and hounded with requests for selfies from his admirers.

To quote SRK, he is a star "who wears his stardom like a T-shirt", but can look spiffy in a well-tailored Tuxedo as well.

But why is India’s most entertaining star who has a way with words and the gift of the gab choosing political correctness instead of being SRK?

Last updated: July 04, 2016 | 11:20
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