Actor Shah Rukh Khan and his manager’s picture from the funeral of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar has now gone viral on the internet. The actor was seen joining hands to offer his prayers and then blowing air for Mangeshkar’s protection as per the Muslim customs.
Khan’s manager stood beside him and offered prayers as per Hindu customs. While many shared the picture for how it represented the diversity in India, others decided to spew hate. It is baffling to see how Khan’s genuine act of paying respects to the late singer was used to spread the Islamophobic agenda. A Bharatiya Janta Party member Arun Yadav tweeted the video of Khan blowing air on Mangeshkar’s remains and wrote, “Is he spitting on her?”.
Shah Rukh Khan Lata Mangeshkar Funeral Controversy:
Many were seen accusing Shah Rukh Khan of disrespecting the deceased singer. Social media timelines were divided, one section was attacking the actor while the other section was praising him. It is shocking how India, a country known for its diversity often insults people for not being part of the majority. The bigots of the nation are always ready with their ill-informed army to spew hate. Is this what a progressive nation in 2022 should witness?
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BJP’s Arun Yadav saw a video and since he obviously did not know what to make of it, he decided to make the most disgusting allegation on the actor. As per Yadav’s Twitter biodata, he is the state in charge of BJP Haryana’s Information Technology Department. He is followed by more than four lakh people on the social media site. His ridiculous tweet about Shah Rukh Khan was liked by about 12 thousand people. Is someone with such a reach not expected to be sensitive about what he posts on social media? Is Yadav not to be held responsible for insulting a man and his religion?
Yadav’s tweet might have caused a spark but it was enough for bigots like him to take it up a notch and spread hate. His tweet was all the Islamophobic people of the country needed to come together and issue attacks. We lost our nation’s one of the greatest artists and her funeral was used for the benefit of agenda-driven anti-minority politics.
The incident is a classic case of using misinformation or misusing one’s lack of knowledge to demonise a person or their practices. Instead of wondering aloud on whether Khan was spitting or not, Yadav could have asked what was Khan doing, if the whole tweet was about his curiosity, as he later claimed it to be. He could have reached out to a Muslim person for more clarity. But no, because it was never about understanding another person’s customs, it was creating a din that would drown sorrow and voice of reason. A noise so loud it managed to overshadow the sonorous voice of our nation’s nightingale- the only sound we should have talked about yesterday.
Views expressed are the author’s own.