Outrage in India over Detention of Popular Actor at US Airport

Jason Ditz, August 15, 2009

Indian Press Slams “American Paranoia” in Wake of Detention

The Indian government has formally demanded an explanation from the US for the detention of Shahrukh Khan, one of India’s most famous actors, at a Newark Airport. Khan was traveling to Chicago to attend an event related to India’s independence day.

Shahrukh KhanKhan, who ironically enough has just finished production of the much-hyped movie “My Name Is Khan,” which details racial profiling of people with Muslim surnames in the United States, was held by immigration officials for an undisclosed reason and was only released after the Indian embassy had been informed of his mysterious capture.

The strange case of life imitating art has caused enormous outrage in India, and Indian newspapers are chastising it as a case of “American paranoia.” The incident comes with last month’s public frisking of former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam when he tried to board of flight to the US still fresh in the minds of many Indians.

US Ambassador to India Timothy Roehmer said the embassy was looking into the incident but denied that anything untoward had occurred, insisting Khan is “a very welcome guest in the United States.” It just didn’t seem like that when they were dragging him into a back office for interrogation.

20 Responses to “Outrage in India over Detention of Popular Actor at US Airport”

  1. People alone can cure this American paranoia; avoid America. I never go to the 'gross' place; Europe and Asia are so much more cultural ,interesting, classy, in the overall state of general existence; on the other hand, the average American which unfortunately you must come in contact with, is so scurrulous through lack of education in general courtesies. They are taught that making money and being rich is the most important things in life which breeds immorality, etc. And they just cannot understand why some countries in the middle east (not Israel, of course) refuse to accept their creeping culture from visitors or investors into their society. They just cannot help but corrupt people they think should emanate their characteristics and general behaviour. Actually, these characteristics are so inherent in the American way of life that they just cannot see themselves as others see them and feel either superior or hurt. KEEP AWAY.

  2. As anAmerican I must agree with Yvonne. Please stay away from us money-grubbing Americans. Do not come here. Do not colonize our country as the Indians do. Stay home, my Indian friends. Stay home and help your own people. We Americans are beyond redemption. Let all Indians henceforth and immediately leave and return home to the caring, nurturing, thoughtful, concerned, loving culture they left behind. And let us start with the Indian colonies in Chicago, LA and New York.

  3. Yvonne, I think you have confused the American people with their politicians and bureaucrats. And yep, those leeches are every bit as bad as you allege–indeed worse.
    On the other hand, were I to travel to your country, I will bet I cd make exactly the same charges against your government. Scum is the same the world over, and it usually finds its way into office.

  4. Saddly,The majority of the American people have so far supported their politicians and bureaucrates in turning the US little by little into a Surveillance police state.They have showen that they very much willing to sacrifice liberty in exchange for the false sense of security and safety .

    See:The 2007 International Privacy Ranking


  5. He has got a moslem name
    Moslem did not attack USA
    USA has still to prove to the world who did 911

  6. It is just sad how people try to relativise things and dilute the point of others. Yvonne may not be Indian, Bill. And your false irony about US is lost in your racism for Indians. Bea, it is not the US Government which is terrorising the World, it is the American people as well. The US Government is worse than other governments in the World, but US people are also much worse than other peoples in the World. For example, I have worked for a good, productive company, which after being taken over by American managers, was turned into a cesspool of animal behaviour. Naturally, there are some good Americans too, but they are the exceptions. I highly recommend a movie comedy called “The Animal” with Rob Schneider as a complement to what Yvonne was writing about. Finally, good luck to anyone who wants to go to America, for travel or for a better standard of living.

  7. Kiza writes: “Bea, it is not the US Government which is terrorising the World, it is the American people as well.”

    And you chastise Bill for his racism against Indians?

    In 2006 the democrats were swept into power on a wave of anti-war sentiment. In 2008 the candidate that at least by appearances seemed to be the most level-headed of the bunch gets elected as president. What were the consequences? As far as U.S. foreign policy, absolutely nothing.

    The mainstream media is desperately trying to pretend that the only arguments against Obamacare come from misinformed kooks. This is an attempt to marginalize its opponents and avoid the need to address genuine criticism. But the real problem is that Obamacare itself is a deliberate distraction. The U.S. is still occupying Iraq and building the largest embassy on the planet there. No one has been held accountable for illegally spying on U.S. citizens, or making torture official U.S. government policy, or lying us into Iraq in the first place. While the media pretends economic recovery has begun, unemployment is as bad as ever.

    By what measure has Obama accomplished anything other than being a half-black president?

    Political power lies not in the hands of voters, but in the hands of those who decide for what and whom we are given the so-called ‘opportunity’ to vote. As Ford Prefect said: “Presidents don’t have power–their job is to draw attention away from it.” And by that measure, Obama has been one of the most effective presidents in U.S. history.

    The only genuinely constructive course of action is to delegitimatize political authority. The good news is that we have antiwar.com specifically and the internet in general to expose their lies. And I’ve talked with enough people standing in line at airport security to know that a surprising number of them know perfectly well the whole thing is a joke. That gives me hope.

  8. As an American, I have ample opportunity to witness the overall degeneracy of Americans. All too often you can't even go to the store without having some kind of unpleasant encounter with the cretins that predominate. And as for any sort of civilized dialogue on an intellectual topic, well good luck! Americans, as a group, are characterized by their lack of anything that can properly be termed "culture." Is it any wonder that the U.S. military has had such success in creating an atmosphere in which its soldiers willingly employ torture and commit war crimes?

  9. The TSA goons don't know a Muslim from a Sikh, from an Indian and the government professes their mission is to protect US from terrorists when they wouldn't know a terrorist from a turd. I just feel so safe with the TSA protecting US, but who is protecting US from the TSA? The government? That's reassuring.

  10. Don't invade the world. Don't invite the world. Bring all the troops home. Secure the borders.

  11. Listen, all of you people that are making a big deal out of this need to get a life. 99.9 percent of the United States population do not have a clue who this guy is. India is not exactly the hub of world entertainment. So if there is anger at the U.S. for questioning this guy please…Some guy from India shows up here, they want to talk with him and it's a big deal? The guy isn't on the cover of People magazine every week. They had no idea who he was, none of us do. I'm a bright guy and I still don't know who he is!!!

  12. Besides, we have millions of people showing up here yearly trying to come to this country, to get out of and away from their own. Obviously they are coming here because it is the best place in the world to live. So, save the U.S. bashing it is stupid. Why do millions of people come here legally and illegally every year if it is so bad? It has nothing to do with muslim name or any of that crap. Do we have a right to see who is coming here and why, of course we do. So, just move on people.

  13. If the same thing happened to an American actor in India, they would be telling the United States it's no big deal they were just following procedure. The United States owes no one an apology for this, he is not known in the U.S. and for all of you from India if you so hate the U.S. LEAVE.

  14. Why is there no such a strong opposition to the run away expenditure on the military-indusrial complex and endless wars that the Bush-Cheney cabal has initiated?!

    Limbaugh and his immitators are able to find so many similarties between Obma policies and the Nazi regime even in a logo!But they coudn’t see any such things when Bush was the president!Spying on the people,expanded Surveillance in he name of Homeland,war of aggression,and militraztion of the country.


  15. What a great way to promote a movie about racial profiling in the U.S.!

  16. Its simple. I wish Indian govt holds a Hollywood star or a politicians for for hours and give them run around. In other words tit for tat.

  17. Soccer is the most popular sport all over the world.In the US they called it world series when it comes to baseball finals ,even though it is only teams from the US and Canada compete in it!If a n actor is no known in the US ,that does not mean he is not well known in other countries.

  18. It doesn't matter how well known in other countries. If the Indian governement has concerns about who is entering their country and they wish to question or look into it further, that is their right and no one should complain. A perfect analogy just occurred in New Jersey. Bob Dylan was doing a concert at the Jersey shore and was walking around Long Branch streets, checking out houses or whatever he was doing. Someone called the police, saying he looked suspicious or what have you. Two young cops arrive, never heard of him. He didn't have identification on him. They brought him to his hotel so people could veryify who he was. You didn't hear a peep out of him. No complaints , nothing. They were doing their job, just like the people who wanted to question this Indian actor. Bob Dylan is a well known singer to everyone over 30 or so, and many younger people. Further , he is a U.S. citizen. We can't question someone who isn't a U.S. citizen when they come here and we don't know who they are? You don't see the absurdity in that argument? I don't know what more to say. The Indian actor's ego may have been hurt that is all.

  19. no country is perfect not even india or the US. Yes i agree with some indians that here in America they dont know what is going on all over the world for example the soccer analogy someone gave .if ur nor popular here in the states your nobody but u may be a big star abroad . Americans only care abt there home and dont know much abt anyother place. on the other hand, the indians have there flaws too. they should be grateful that the US society has granted them open doors and numerous and wide spread oppurtunities . We have millions of indian doctors here making lots of money . in the end,no nation on earth is perfect, so lets move on and forget all these bickering. The indian actor is human and i understand his complain but at the same time America has their security to protect . Every foreigner coming here is viewed as a potential threat so an eye is kept on travelers coming to the US. America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth . I think God has designed it that way because of isreal.

  20. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff about SRK in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work.