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Step this way, Mr Khan, you may be a terrorist

Alas, we have to face the truth - having a surname like Khan can get you in some sticky situations in the US of A, the self-declared beholder of human rights the world over. When will they learn? You can't stereotype terrorists by their name or appearance. It's common sense, if it's a real terrorist you are dealing with, he will not travel under his real name...he could be Ronald McDonald for all you know! Secondly, what makes you (yes, you paranoid airport officials!) think that he'll be wearing a salwar kameez and a scraggly beard so you can point out, 'hey! that's a terrorist!' Seriously, US needs some strict lessons in orderly conduct here. And we all know Shah Rukh Khan's case is not the first time this has happened. Dr Abdul Kalam had to face similar humiliation recently, and God knows how many countless others are made to go through this just because their surname denotes them as Muslim or they look 'suspicious'?

That's the American side of the story, but we need to seriously think about the Indian government's reaction too: there is none. I don't know whether Indians politicians suffer from a chronic inferiority complex or colonial mindset but they have the feeblest of reactions or none at all. I don't mean the government should have made a noise about SRK, but at least about Dr Kalam? Why don't we make some strong statements to show that our dignity matters? Why didn't we frisk Hillary Clinton when she was on a visit? Oops sorry! We were busy falling at her feet!

Even in the case of attacks against Indians in Australia, which is a deadly serious matter, what exactly has the Indian government done to offer security to its citizens? Nothing, except made some feeble requests to the Australian government, which is in snobbish denial of everything. What we needed here were some strong measures to ensure that our kids are safe in foreign lands. We have seen how USA protects and aids its citizens no matter where they are. If we want to be seen anywhere on the global map as a country with its own standing, we have to learn to speak out.
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4 comments

musafir said...

I think its just the Muslim name, me too went through exactly the same ordeal at JFK two months back. The room i was asked to sit, had only Muslims ... waiting for their investigation to be cleared.

Lucky SRK was allowed to make a call - I was told 'it may take 2hrs or 2 months for us to clear you up'. Till then wait.

I think its just that they want to discourage Muslims to visit US.

Tarana said...

@musafir: That's really disheartening!

warrior said...

I would really appreciate author if he/she wont make it Muslim/US. I too, agree that US authorities are partial against people specially from India and we as a Indians should react in clear manner and should make them clear that we wont accept such humiliation in future. I strongly feel that Mr. Kalam is an Indian first and then whatever religion he belongs to. Also, religion is a personal thing and Nationality is public. When somebody from India has been frisked or humiliated, We all as Indian are ashamed of.

I am your great admirer and read your blog regularly. But I feel shocked when you said as being Muslim we are a target. I personally feel because Indians don't react in crisp and clear way, That is a reason why it is happening to them. Otherwise why someone from Saudi Arab or UAE national is not a target. After all, Osama Bin Laden was former native of Saudi Arab.

I agree with you and don't assume that I am not hurt with Kalam's or SRK's humiliation. I am as hurt as you are and to that degree. If you will protest it in any form I will always be with you. But, I would appreciate if you would take this as an attack on Indian's rather than on Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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