Archive for Bollywood

King of Bollywood Detained in the US….Again

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2012 by loonwatch

Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan

India boasts the largest film industry in the world, and Shahrukh Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest stars. The Muslim actor was recently detained at a US airport–for the second time in three years.

The incident caused a stir in India and once again raised questions of ethnic profiling, but Khan seemed to take it in stride. Later when addressing students at Yale University, he quipped:

“Yes it always happens, it’s nice. Whenever I start feeling arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America.”

“The immigration guys kick the stars out of stardom,” said Khan, who boasted of some small victories when he was questioned under detention, such as fibbing about his height.

“The next time I’m gonna be more adventurous. What colour are you? I’m gonna say white,” Khan said.

What’s in a name?

Editorial, The National

Shah Rukh Khan has more Facebook fans than Tom Cruise (2.58 million to 1.79 million) and has acted in more films (78) than most Hollywood A listers do in a lifetime. And yet, he still can’t get through immigration in New York without trouble.

During a weekend visit to the US to be honoured at Yale University, Khan was detained for two hours at the small regional airport in White Plains, NY. Were this the king of Bollywood’s first run-in with American border policy it might have been a mere inconvenience. Coming after a similar detention in 2009, it looks like a trend.

US officials, clearly embarrassed, defended their screening of Khan by rejecting allegations of profiling. As State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Friday, Khan was less “detained” than he was “simply delayed”. But anyone with a Muslim-sounding name who has travelled to the US since September 11 2001 will find this explanation unsatisfying.

Two US administrations in a row, one Republican and one Democratic, have subordinated everything else, often including common sense, to an obsession with security.

Nor has this been done intelligently: Islamophobia has been in practice – though not, at least, in theory – a frequent element of this policy. Combined with American ignorance of the rest of the world, that leads to incidents like this one, ludicrous if they weren’t so damaging.

******

The Daily Show, following the prior incident in 2009:

Wikileaks: India Systematically Torturing Kashmiris

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2010 by loonwatch

WikiLeaks has further exposed what was quite obvious but which many people were silent about: the systematic torture by the Indian Army of Kashmiri civilians.

Mike, a Loonwatch reader asked, “what if this had been Pakistan?” Well Mike, no doubt you would have been hearing cries from the Mooslim haters as well as reverb about how Islam is to blame.

Another interesting tid-bit in the article was the suggestion that the US use Bollywood stars to pacify Afghanistan. I guess Shahrukh Khan holds the key to ending the occupation?

(hat tip: Mike)

WikiLeaks: India ‘systematically torturing civilians in Kashmir’

(Telegraph)

By Nick Allen, Los Angeles 12:17AM GMT 17 Dec 2010

The US officials in Delhi were privately briefed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2005 that Indian security forces were using methods including electrocution, physical beatings and sexual interference against hundreds of detainees.

In a detailed report back to Washington they recorded the view of the ICRC that India “condones torture” and that the detainees were not Islamist insurgents or Pakistani-backed militants, who were “routinely killed.” Instead, they were civilians “connected to or believed to have information about the insurgency.”

According to the cables, which will prove a major embarrassment for the Indian government, the ICRC interviewed 1,296 detainees of whom 681 said they had been tortured.
Of those, 498 claimed to have been electrocuted, 381 said they were suspended from the ceiling, and 304 cases were described as “sexual.”

A total of 294 described a procedure in which guards crushed their legs by putting a bar across their thighs and sitting on it, while 181 said their legs had been pulled apart into the splits.

In one cable US officials reported that “terrorism investigations and court cases tend to rely upon confessions, many of which are obtained under duress if not beatings, threats, or in some cases torture.”

Other leaked cables from US officials in India revealed that the Dalai Lama believed environmental problems on the Tibetan plateau should take precedence over a political solution there for the next five to 10 years.

The exiled Buddhist spiritual leader told US diplomats that issues such as polluted water from mining, deforestation and melting glaciers “cannot wait.”

US officials also suggested to Washington that India be encouraged to send Bollywood stars to Afghanistan to help pacify the country.

A cable, obtained by the WikiLeaks website, said “We understand Bollywood movies are wildly popular in Afghanistan” but the plan never materialised.”