Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan was Saturday questioned for two hours at the Newark airport in the US over his surname and was freed only after Indian diplomats intervened.
The Indian government and entertainment industry reacted furiously after the 43-year-old actor, named by Newsweek last year as one of the world's 50 most powerful men, revealed how he was detained and stopped from even using his mobile telephone.
Speaking to CNN-IBN channel on telephone from the US, Shah Rukh appeared to shrug off the embarrassing episode saying he had suffered similar treatment previously too.
The incident happened as the hugely popular actor, whose fans number millions in India and abroad, was on his way to Chicago to attend an event related to India's Independence Day.
Other Bollywood stars like Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan too are set to attend the function.
'They checked me because I was an Asian,' the actor said. 'They wanted to know why I came to the US and where I am staying.'
Shah Rukh's manager Niloufer Qureshi earlier told IANS over telephone from Mumbai: 'He was detained because his surname is Khan. He was kept until officials from the Indian embassy intervened.'
Asked if he got into trouble because of his giveaway Muslim name, Shah Rukh, who is married to a Hindu, said: 'Certain countries have issues with my name.' He quickly added: 'I am very proud of my name.'
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni denounced Shah Rukh's detention over religious grounds.
'I don't think that this manner of detaining (in the name of religion) is justified. But in the US, several examples have surfaced where frisking takes place more than required,' she told reporters in New Delhi. 'There should be a tit for tat response.'
Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar, a close friend of Shah Rukh, said in Mumbai: 'I am shocked and upset. I am feeling terrible.'
Shah Rukh admitted that he became 'greatly worried' as the American officials piled him with questions -- mainly about his travel to the US.
The actor said a large number of Indians, including organisers of the Chicago event, were waiting outside at the airport to receive him. Indian diplomats came to his rescue when they heard about his plight.
He said it was ironic that the incident happened on the eve of Aug 15 -- when freedom is celebrated by Indians.
'I personally feel it is over and done,' he said, sounding conciliatory. Asked if he felt like reacting in a similar way, he replied: 'If they want I can frisk Angelina Jolie when she is here (India).'
Undoubtedly one of Bollywood's biggest and most highly paid stars, Shah Rukh has acted in nearly 70 films in a career spanning 17 years.
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OK HERE IS THE FACT SRK IS #1.....NO EFFENCE TO SALMAN KHANS FAN BUT HE SHOULD REALLUY THINK BEFORE OPENING HIS BIG MOUTH.......HES TRULY JELOUS OF SRKS POPULARITY..............LETS FACE IT HIS MOVIES HAVE BEEN DISAPOINTING PEOPLE FOR YEARS I THING HIS LAST MEGA HIT WAS IN THE 1900S.........SO SALMAN KHAN IS NOTHING AND I MEAN NOTHING COMPARE TO SRK.......... SO PEOPLE DONT WASTE UR TIME TRYING TO PROVE SALMAN BETTER THEN SRK BECAUSE IT CAN NEVER EVER HAPPEN
Edited on:26 February 2010 at 7:17pm
@zoya_01-----Listen you do not have to tell me where i should waste my time or where i should not...Here I am not wasting my time..who against srk,none of us humiliating him..By listening srk interview I did not decide anything..I heard what US security said too....we go thru same check up..By experience We know what they do..if indian security is not checking famous people , It does not mean all countries has to do same thng.. I am not like you who only interested srk, nothing else...
@pallavi 25, cookie09 and konii
COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU GUYS
THAT GOOD FOR NOTHING SALLU IS SAYING ITS NOT A BIG DEAL BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE THAT RESPECT AFTER WHAT HE DID BY KILLING PEOPLE AND RARE SPECIES JUST FOR ENJOYMENT
@caroash LISTEN TO TO THE INTERVIEW WITH OPEN EARS
HE HIMSELF SAID HE DIDIN'T WANT TO COME THERE UNLESS OR UNTIL IT IS IMPORTANT AND HE DOESN'T NEED PUBLICITY FOR HIS FILM TO GET HIT
AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE HIS NAME IS ENOUGH TO PULL PEOPLE TOWARDS CINEMA HOUSES
@moneymaker11 FOR A PERSON WHO HAS KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL
BUT FOR A PERSON WITH DIGNITY IT IS A BIG DEAL
THE FILM IS GOING TO RELEASE IN 2010 SO IF IT WAS FOR PUBLICITY THEN SRK SHOULD DO THIS IN 2010 NOT NOW
@Caroash THE ANSWER TO YOUR REPLY ON MY PREVIOUS COMMENT
AGAIN THE SAME ADVICE LISTEN TO THE CONFERENCE WITH OPEN EARS HE DID NOT FOR ONCE SAID THAT ALL THIS HAS HAPPEND WITH HIM BEFORE
HE ONLY SAID THAT THEY ALWAYS TAKE THE RETINA AND FINGER PRINT TEST FOR IDENTIFICATION
IF YOUR US SECUIRITY POLICIES ARE SO MUCH NICE THEN WHY DID NOT THEY DONE THE RETINA AND FINGER PRINTS TEST AT THE FIRST PLACE
PEOPLE DON'T GO TO SEE MOVIES FOR STORIES
THEY GO BECAUSE THE STAR POWER PULLS THE PEOPLE TOWARDS THEM
LEAVE IT GUYS
SOME PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING TO DO
THATs WHY THEY COME HERE AND HUMILIATE PEOPLE
I MEAN IF THEY HATE A PERSON WHY ARE THEY WASTING THEIR TIME BY DISCUSSING ABOUT HIM
DISCUSS THE PERSON YOU LOVE
LIKE WHAT WE ARE DOING HERE
ATLEAST I DON'T DISCUSS A PERSON I HATE BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE TIME TO WASTE ON HIM
Exactly! Salman killed innocent footpath dwellers, he ran over them in drunk state while they were sleeping....he shot down black buck (protected species) in Rajasthan just for fun and got away with that too! God knows why and how he gets away scot free every time? Must have major political connections! I cant stand him! How dare he open his mouth, BESHARAM!
Hes just saying all this to spite SRK since they had a fight and are enemies! He shd be in jail for his crimes!
Hes jealous of SRK since now hes a flop actor and SRK still gives hits!
exactly, it's the truth regarding salman and he has never apologised for it in public. it is easy to say for him that it's not a big deal as he is more than used to it.... whatever shahrukh is saying is his right to say whether he is a star or not.. it's a free country !!!!
ALL SALMAN KE CHAMCHAY HATE SRK AND THAT'S TRUE!!!!!!!!!! SALMAN WHO HAS KILLED MY INNOCENT PEOPLE BY DRUNK AND DRIVING ..........KILLING FOREST ANIMALS ............................AND PUTTING FALSE BLAME ON HIS DRIVER................BEATING ASH AND MANY MORE ............I THINK SALMAN SHOULD KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT IN SRK'S MATTER BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY IDEA WATS HUMILIATION IS WHEN U R DETAINED 4 2 HOURS WITH ANY REASON.............................
@pinkishot: Clearly u didnt understand most of the interview! Dont know Hindi? I understand.....the problem of most ABCDs. LOLL
Human rights, war and politics all are involved in this issue, if u werent so ignorant u would understand that!
I support SRK in this, it was high time someone raised their voice against religious and racial profiling! The young girl and old woman in the questioning room he mentioned, I feel sorry for them becuz Embassy wont come to help them get out sooner like they did for SRK.
SRK IS AN IDIOT AND SO HE WILL REMAIN....
Now he's in an interview due to all his stupidess saying "its no bid deal" llollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll then to all the people like @pallavi25 who adds on heaps of this simple issue like she debating civil rights, war, politics, etc etc etc or something. Woman needs a life. lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Srk the ass now claiming it's no big deal. Stupid idiot...THEN THE BEST PART IN ALL TO PALLAVI25 THE MAN CLAIMS HE WISHED HIS OWN COUNTRY WOULD HAVE TIGHTER SECURITY AS WELL. LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL...Then he has nerve to back Salman Khan in Saying it's NO BIG DEAL. Well if it wasn't a big deal then why did you make it so.. lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll...yeah and btw I'm a full blown democrat... sweetie..hahahahahahaahah
All of you SRK bashers and critics, please watch the vdos of SRK giving interview on this "incident" before making wise comments! He explained the whole situation clearly. The vdos are posted on IF, if u understand Hindi that is!
The main issue is......all of u who are claiming u so "gladly" accept standing in line for special security checks, this was much more than that! He was taken to 4 rooms consecutively for questioning! He was forced to wait for their "verdict" for almost 2 hrs. Although he US Consulate in Mumbai had done his fingerprinting and retinal check before giving him visa , the dumb airport officials didnt check either! They are supposed to check the database first before detaining anyone.
A senior airport Official of Indian descent told the others....I vouch for him, hes who hes saying...but other officials ignored him.
How many of u have been subjected to such extra special checks at airports? How many of u have been taken to a separate room and questioned for 2 hrs?
The most we have to tolerate is being pulled aside for special metal detector checks.
Before blabbering ur unfounded hatred of SRK....be aware of the facts first!
Good looking actor Neil Bhatt better known as Laxman from Zee TV’s ... 103
The lead pair Gautami and Manav Gohil of Khelti Hai Zindagi Aankh ... 15
For superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the greatest way to count his years in ... 3
Filmmaking needs commitment and this has been clearly endorsed by ... 1