(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)
When Bollywood heart-throb Shah Rukh Khan shared his views on religious stereotypes in an article in Outlook Turning Points magazine, it turned heads as the editors likely expected. Some media outlets criticized Khan, saying he sought “refuge in Muslim victimhood.”
Hafez Saeed, founder of Pakistan’s banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba and a suspect in the Nov. 26, 2008 attack on Mumbai that killed 166 people, said Khan should move to Pakistan if he feels unsafe in his country.
Khan’s column in fact is a frank account of what it’s like to be the subject of stereotypes in a country you love, but that doesn’t always love you.
“Stereotyping and contextualising is the way of the world we live in: a world in which definition has become central to security,” wrote Khan, who has a Hindu wife, and practises the rituals of both religions. “We take comfort in defining phenomena, objects and people — with a limited amount of knowledge and along known parameters.”