THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Thursday 31 January 2013
Last update 31 January 2013 12:12 am
NEW DELHI: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, popularly known as ‘King Khan’, appeared to be caught in a verbal slugfest between India and Pakistan after he wrote a magazine article that led to heated exchanges between the rival nations.
The controversy erupted after Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik suggested that New Delhi beef up the actor’s security after Khan wrote an account of how it felt to be a Muslim in India.
In the article, Khan wrote that sometimes he became “the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India.”
New Delhi reacted sharply to Malik’s comments with Indian politicians and officials suggesting he should concentrate on the security of Pakistani citizens.
“Malik would be better served bothering about the internal situation in Pakistan and introspecting about the minorities there,” said Manish Tewari, India’s information and broadcasting minister.
India’s Home Secretary R.K. Singh said India was capable of looking after its citizens. “Let him (Malik) worry about the security of his country’s security,” Singh told reporters.
Khan responded to the exchange late Tuesday by saying he was extremely safe and happy in India. He said it was “irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue.”
He said the article did not “even vaguely say that I am ungrateful for the love I have received in a career spanning 20 years. On the contrary, the article says that in spite of the bigoted thoughts of some of the people that surround us, I am untouched by skeptics because of the love I have received from my countrymen and women,” he said, reading from a prepared statement.
Khan has acted in around 75 Hindi feature films, including many box-office hits.