Such Gup

Such Gup

SRK has his say

Earlier this month, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide victory in local elections in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Still, it came as a shock when a firebrand Hindu priest, Yogi Adityanath, became the BJP’s unanimous choice for Chief Minister. And most of all, this appointment has come as a nasty wake-up call to India’s increasingly insecure Muslim minority, for the Yogi has praised US President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and once likened the Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan to a terrorist.

But the latter has his own massive fan following not only in India but across the world and is not afraid to speak his mind. He has openly criticised India’s “growing intolerance”, and gone on to say that “there is extreme intolerance.”

A frequent global traveller, Khan was recently in London where he owns several properties and lives in a large multi-million pound house close to The Dorchester hotel on Park Lane. Khan was also espied at London’s famous wax museum Madame Tussauds with his wife (who hails from a Sikh family) and toddler, borne by a surrogate mother a few years ago. Our mole happened to be there at the same time. Hailing from Pakistan, our mole asked Khan what he thought of Yogi, the anti-Muslim bigot and what his appointment says about the mind-set of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, who runs on a religious nationalist platform, arguing that India’s identity and culture are inherently Hindu in character. Without hesitation, Khan beckoned our mole to the place where PM Modi’s wax statue stands, and said that when the PM came to Madame Tussauds to inaugurate his life-like image, it was said that, “One of these figures keeps mum on communal killings, lynching, and gross intolerance and the other one is a wax statue!”

There was much mirth at that. Then Khan high-fived with our mole and went off, accompanied by his family and a group of aides.