March 15, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Scoffing at the persistent speculations about his political ambitions Bollywood actor and megastar Shah Rukh Khan says he has absolutely no plans of joining politics.
“People keep talking about my friendship with certain individuals in a particular party(Congress). But I’ve known Rajeev Shukla from before he was a part of the Congress. And I know Soniaji, Rahul and Priyanka just as I know people from other walks of life.”
In fact , says Shah Rukh, after the political controversy created by the Shiv Sena over what he says was an innocuous statement about the spirit of sportsmanship Shah Rukh has resolved to remain as far removed from politics and politicians as possible.
Shah Rukh Khan now sees the run-in with the Shiv Sena over his statement regarding the inclusion of Pakistani players in the IPL, as a waste of time and energy.
Says Shah Rukh, “It was confusing. What was I supposed to apologize for? Later I heard on television that I wasn’t expected to apologize. Not a for second did I feel any aggression. I was calm throughout. I know Bala Saheb and Uddhav Thackeray well. We meet cordially whenever the occasion arises. But we’re on different playing fields. I’m in the business of cinema.They’re in politics.And we should keep it that way.”
What the mega-star regrets is that he missed out enjoying the release of My Name Is Khan. “The troubles that happened did take away from my thrill of the release.Frankly I was anxious about the safety of my family, colleagues , my office staff and fans. God forbid, even if one member of the audience had suffered any injury while going to see My Name Is Khan I’d have never forgiven myself.”
The financial losses didn’t bother Shah Rukh. “I really didn’t care. I can make money even dancing at private events, it’s no big deal But there was no question retracting my statement. Because to do so I had to be proven wrong about what I had said.”
Shah Rukh is no stranger to controversies.Each time he manages to steer through the sticky wicket without the muck getting stuck on his teeshirt.
“During Billu we unconsciously ended up hurting the hairtyslists and the Muslim community with the song Marjani. We sorted it out. One has to do the right thing, whatever the outcome.”
Looking back at the whole run-in with the Shiv Sena Shah Rukh gets deeply reflective. “I was privileged to have a father who was a freedom fighter, Not too many of us can claim such a privilege. He once said to me. ‘I had a hand in your birth. But I also had a hand in the birth of a free India.’ I didn’t want my father’s struggle to go to waste. When my son is 44 like I am now, I want him to be as proud of me as I am of my father.”
–Subhash K. Jha / Sampurn Wire