Days after Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau(NCB) after a raid on Goa-bound cruise ship, left-leaning ‘liberals’ tried to paint the Bollywood actor as a victim of religious persecution by alleging that his son was arrested by the narcotics Bureau because of his ‘Muslim’ identity.
On Friday last week when a court rejected the bail plea of Khan and seven others arrested in the case, and instead sent them to 14 days of judicial custody, left ‘liberals’ saw an opportunity that could be exploited to reinforce their propaganda of projecting the central government as anti-Muslim.
Scores of ‘liberals’ took to Twitter, extending their support to the ‘Happy New Year’ actor and conjecturing that Aryan Khan has been targeted as a means to ‘get back’ at Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who is a Muslim and had on occasions commented against the central government.
‘Liberals’ cite Muslim identity of SRK for the arrest and denial of bail to his son Aryan Khan
Swati Chaturvedi, a self-proclaimed journalist but who also doubles down as an abusive troll on social media websites, insinuated that Aryan’s arrest and denial of bail was a part of the central government’s ‘campaign’ against Shah Rukh Khan. She also compared SRK’s current predicament with Aamir Khan after the latter sparked outrage with his indiscreet utterances on the leftist trope of rising intolerance.
Following Aryan’s arrest, popular ed-tech platform Byju’s had dropped SRK as its brand ambassador, presumably to safeguard itself from the ignominy of being associated with an actor whose own son was arrested in a drug case. After Aryan’s arrest, Khan being continued as the brand ambassador of a platform aimed at children who aspire for academic success was criticised by many users.
But Khan’s dismissal as the brand ambassador did not sit well with some ‘liberals’, including Chaturvedi, who alluded that the company was aiding the government in its campaign against SRK.
That a private company decided to use its authority to end its relationship with its ambassador was used by liberals to accuse the Centre of ensuring ‘economic boycott’ underscores the prejudice harboured by ‘liberals’ against the Modi government.
A decision that was taken to protect the organisation’s image and economic interests was billed as the government’s bidding speaks volumes of the abysmal understanding of business by ‘liberals’. No wonder then that most of the Marxist liberals in India view businessmen as inherently corrupt and dishonest.
Another celebrated ‘liberal’ Arfa Khanum Sherwani, who works for the far-left propaganda website The Wire, took to Twitter to declare that Aryan’s arrest was not related to a drugs case but a clear targeting of the actor Shahrukh Khan. Sherwani even went on to ludicrously claim that securing bail is a “basic right” and Aryan is being deprived of it.
“SRK is undoubtedly the biggest Muslim superstar of our times. ‘Process as punishment’ is a message to him to fall in line,” Sherwani said.
A routine judicial process and an impartial narcotics agency are called dubbed as a “punishment”, just because the accused is a Muslim. For Arfa and others who dredged up SRK’s religion to peddle the Muslim victimhood narrative, Aryan Khan’s alleged involvement in a drug case is not worth probing because the accused is a Muslim.
For years now, left-leaning “liberals” touted Bollywood as a totem of Hindu-Muslim unity, an industry they claimed transcended the religious boundaries and united people of all hues. But when Shah Rukh Khan’s son was arrested by a narcotics agency, these moralising platitudes about Bollywood being a microcosm of Indian diversity are shunned and swept under the carpet. A Bollywood actor is pigeonholed as a Muslim superstar so as to perpetuate the Muslim victimhood narrative that the left has mastered over the years.
SRK slams Rana Ayyub for using his movie roles to propagate her agenda
This is not the first time that Rana Ayyub has used Shah Rukh Khan as an accessory to her propaganda against the central government. In 2017, Ayyub exploited the mere coincidence of Khan playing a Muslim character in three back to back movies by arguing in an opinion piece published in NDTV that the actor was sending a message to the establishment by wearing his religious identity on his sleeves.
Ayyub’s myopic point of view on SRK’s roles evoked an uncharacteristically sharp response from the actor, who asked writers for reading too much into his choice of roles. The actor said he was not even aware of the name of the character in one of the three movies in which he played the role of a man with Muslim name.
Islamists attack Shah Rukh for installing a Ganesha idol at his home
The religious identity is attached to the actor even though Shah Rukh Khan has time and again slammed the writers and journalists for viewing him from a religious prism. He has often said that he celebrates all festivals, especially Ganesh Chaturthi.
Recently, SRK had shared a picture of a Ganesha idol installed at his home during Ganesh Chaturthi. The move rattled Islamists on Twitter, including the verified ones, who descended upon the actor’s timeline to acquaint him with the teachings of Islam.
Many called him ‘Shirk’ and ‘Kafir’ and many fundamentalists believe that kafirs and ‘non-believers’ deserve to be punished with death. Murtad is apostasy and apostasy is also to be punished with death, as per the Holy Quran, they argued. Several others decried the actor and asked him to convert alleging that idol worshipping is a sin in Islam.
Even though SRK has not been the “ideal” Muslim as asserted by self-described devout Muslims on social media, his religious identity is co-opted every now and then to present a misleading notion of perpetual Muslim victimhood.
That a court found the NCB’s investigation and grounds for arrest valid enough to deny bail to Aryan, that the probe agency has asserted multiple times that all due procedure was followed, that drugs were found on the person of the individuals arrested, does not matter at all for these self-proclaimed ‘secular-liberals’.
Along with Aryan, several other persons have been arrested, but they are ignored, only Aryan’s arrest is highlighted and the so-called anti-government dissenters are peddling a narrative that just because Aryan’s father is a Muslim, he should not have been arrested at all.
Aryan is not the only person who was arrested, but they do not matter for ‘secular-liberals’ because they are not ‘Muslim’
As a part of their strategy, when an accused happens to be a Muslim, the focus is placed on his or her religious identity and not on the alleged criminal activity carried out by him or her. The fact that the person might have committed the crime is irrelevant because the focus is to continue peddling the victimhood narrative.
On the contrary, when an accused is a Hindu, there is no such heightened display of concern by the “liberals” then because for them Hindu lives hardly matter. Contrary to the concern for ‘Muslims’, when the accused happens to be a Hindu and the victim is non-Hindu, he/she is instantly declared as a Hindutva fanatic, even a ‘Hindu terrorist’.
It is worth noting that in both cases the left-leaning intellectual class assumes the role of investigating agencies and the judiciary even before a thorough probe is conducted in the case and findings are out. The liberals fall over themselves to either declare the Muslim accused as innocent and a victim of religious persecution or declare the Hindu accused as a culprit emboldened by the central government.
Additionally, when a group of people belonging to different religions are arrested, the liberals place emphasis only on the identity of the Muslim accused. So when Aryan Khan was arrested and denied bail for his alleged involvement in the cruise drugs case, the liberals highlighted his Muslim identity as a reason for his predicament. Fourteen others were arrested along with him, who are still under custody and denied bail. But the liberals won’t bother pointing out their religion because that would sabotage their Muslim victimhood narrative.
Same Muslim victimhood was peddled in Munawar Faruqui case
This phenomenon of focusing only on the religious identity of Muslims while ignoring the Hindus when multiple accused are involved was also witnessed during the Munawar Faruqui case, when 5 people were arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments in a stand-up comedy show.
The ‘liberals’ had then showed unmatched alacrity to call to attention Munawar Faruqui’s Muslim identity, stating that he was hounded and arrested for being a Muslim. They, however, did not mention that not all arrested in the case were Muslims, lest it would have undermined their propaganda of Muslims being specifically targeted on account of their religion.
Munawar and others were arrested for making derogatory remarks against Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Similarly, Aryan Khan is under arrest and denied bail for being a part of a rave party onboard a cruise ship. Not because the Centre held a grudge against his father Shah Rukh Khan for his years-old comment on rising intolerance or because Shah Rukh Khan is a Muslim.
As it was proved in the 2019 General election, the bogey of rising intolerance was just balderdash, raised by the left to discredit the Modi government.