Shah Rukh Khan Deepika Padukone for Pathaan© Getty Images

Shah Rukh Khan Addresses The Controversy Around ‘Pathaan’

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

ICYMI, Shah Rukh Khan has proven yet again why he is called King Khan and has broken a staggering number of box office records with his recent release Pathaan.

Directed by Siddharth Anand, the movie is another instalment in the YRF Spy Universe, along with Salman Khan’s Tiger movies and Hrithik Roshan’s War, and also stars Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. The movie follows an exiled RAW agent who is up against a formidable enemy who wants to spread a deadly lab-generated virus in India.

The current political environment in India means that no movie involving a Khan, be it Aamir or SRK, can release without its fair share of controversies. Pathaan was no different, with calls of boycotting the film populating the Internet much before its release. The baseless controversy involved Padukone dancing in a saffron bikini, in the song ‘Besharam Rang’, which was taken as a direct attack on Hindutva groups.

The cast and crew maintained a dignified silence on the subject before the release of the film and let the movie (and its impressive box office numbers) do the talking for them. But in a post-release media event for the movie, SRK decided to address the seemingly hurt sentiments because of the film.

“Sabka maksad ek hi hota hai (Everyone has one motive). We should spread happiness, brotherhood, love, kindness, even when I’m playing a bad guy like (in) Darr. Even if I’m playing a Baazigar, even if John is being bad in a film. None of us are bad. We are all playing characters to make you happy. If we say things in the film, none of them are meant to hurt any sentiment or anybody. It is just entertainment,” he said.

The actor also pointed out the religious diversity in the cast, comparing himself, Padukone, and Abraham to the iconic Manmohan Desai characters from his 1977 film Amar Akbar Anthony.

“ We love each other, we joke with each other. We have fun with each other. Fun, entertainment should be left at that. Don’t take it more seriously. We all are one. All of us are loving each other and trying to make that love spread just to tell you in a very simple manner... this is Deepika Padukone, yeh Amar hain (she is Amar). Main Shah Rukh Khan hoon, main Akbar hoon (I am Akbar). Yeh John hain, yeh Anthony hain (This is John, he is Anthony). And this is what makes cinema.”

The actor went on to insist that the movie was made with love and the intention to entertain and should be taken as that only.

What do you think of SRK’s comments?