‘Dragon’s favorite’: Hindu teams goal Bollywood’s Aamir Khan – Al Jazeera English

On August 15, Turkish First Girl Emine Erdogan posted an image of her assembly Bollywood star Aamir Khan on Twitter. It quickly went viral.

“I had the good pleasure of assembly @aamir_khan, the world-renowned Indian actor, filmmaker, and director, in Istanbul…” Emine Erdogan tweeted after assembly the Muslim actor, who was in Turkey to shoot his newest movie, Laal Singh Chaddha.

Professional-government supporters had been livid at Khan for taking an image with the spouse of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has criticised the Indian authorities’s determination to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its particular standing final August.

Erdogan has backed Pakistan within the dispute over Kashmir, a territory each India and Pakistan declare as its personal however rule in components.

New Delhi informed Ankara to not “intervene” in its inside affairs after President Erdogan expressed concern over the deteriorating scenario within the Muslim-majority area, which has been underneath safety lockdown since its restricted autonomy was eliminated on August 5, 2019.

India additionally acted in opposition to Malaysia for criticising its Kashmir transfer by banning the import of palm oil from the Asia Pacific nation.


Khan, one of many greatest Bollywood stars, was quickly the highest Twitter trending subject together with Erdogan, with Hindu nationalists branding the movie star “anti-national” and “unpatriotic” for standing with the “enemy”.

His criticism was not restricted to social media, the place the pro-government customers dominate. A current report by The Wall Road Journal stated Fb India executives did not act in opposition to anti-Muslim posts by governing get together leaders. Fb has about 300 million customers in India.

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan is among the most profitable Bollywood stars up to now 30 years [File: Hannah McKay/Reuters]

This week, the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteer organisation, which is the ideological father or mother of the governing Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP), criticised Khan’s ties with Turkey, saying he was “forging friendships with these which can be thought-about enemies of India”.

The RSS journal, Organiser, put Khan on its cowl calling him “The Dragon’s favorite Khan”, a reference to China.

The 55-year-old star was attacked for his huge reputation in China, which has been accused of transgressing into Indian territory throughout Line of Precise Management (LAC) – the de facto border between the 2 Asian international locations.

“Aamir appears to be the favorite of the Chinese language Communist Celebration system and the actual fact his motion pictures are doing so nicely is a sign that he’s being promoted by Chinese language state,” the editor of the weekly Hitesh Shankar informed a information web site.

Rising marginalisation of Muslims

Khan is a model ambassador for Chinese language smartphone maker Vivo, and can also be a significant draw on the mainland with movies corresponding to Dangal (2016). He has 1.16 million followers on China’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities has fanned rising hostility in direction of China following a lethal conflict on their disputed Himalayan border on June 15. Modi is a religious Hindu and a lifelong RSS member.

Since Modi got here to energy in 2014, the BJP authorities has enacted various insurance policies which have raised fears of marginalisation amongst India 200-million-strong Muslim minority.

Bollywood's Three Khans

Prior to now, Hindu right-wing teams have known as for boycott of movies starring Khans, notably Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan [Getty Images]

Final yr, Modi’s authorities handed a citizenship legislation that made religion a foundation for buying Indian citizenship within the formally secular nation. The brand new legislation, which sparked nationwide protests, was dubbed “essentially discriminatory” by the United Nations.

The three Khans

Bollywood has a protracted custom of Muslim film stars and the so-called three Khans – Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh – have dominated the trade for the final 30 years.

However Aamir Khan stands out due to his outspokenness.

He’s certainly one of Bollywood’s most bankable main males and has appeared in dozens of movies – usually taking part in Hindu or Sikh heroes. He has an infinite fan membership, which incorporates tens of millions of Hindus.

Khan was the goal of a vicious on-line marketing campaign in 2015 and compelled out of a number of commercial campaigns after he stated his spouse feared for the security of their youngsters in India.

On the time, India was reeling underneath a local weather of insecurity following the lynching of a Muslim man for allegedly consuming beef, which many Hindus imagine to be sacrilegious. Since then, dozens of Muslims have been lynched by Hindu mobs over rumours of cow slaughter or smuggling.

Prior to now, Hindu right-wing teams have known as for boycott of movies starring Khans, notably Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. Lately, the three stars have largely remained silent on points dealing with the minority group.

The BJP has denied its insurance policies are in opposition to the minority group however has accomplished little to cease its supporters from indulging in on-line hate speech in opposition to Muslims.

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