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‘Dragon’s favourite’: Hindu groups target Bollywood’s Aamir Khan | India News

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On August 15, Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan posted a picture of her meeting Bollywood star Aamir Khan on Twitter. It soon went viral.

“I had the great pleasure of meeting @aamir_khan, the world-renowned Indian actor, filmmaker, and director, in Istanbul…” Emine Erdogan tweeted after meeting the Muslim actor, who was in Turkey to shoot his latest film, Laal Singh Chaddha.

Pro-government supporters were furious at Khan for taking a picture with the wife of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has criticised the Indian government’s decision to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its special status last August.

Erdogan has backed Pakistan in the dispute over Kashmir, a territory both India and Pakistan claim as its own but rule in parts.

New Delhi told Ankara not to “interfere” in its internal affairs after President Erdogan expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the Muslim-majority region, which has been under security lockdown since its limited autonomy was removed on August 5, 2019.

India also acted against Malaysia for criticising its Kashmir move by banning the import of palm oil from the Asia Pacific nation.

‘Anti-national’

Khan, one of the biggest Bollywood stars, was soon the top Twitter trending topic along with Erdogan, with Hindu nationalists branding the film star “anti-national” and “unpatriotic” for standing with the “enemy”.

His criticism was not limited to social media, where the pro-government users dominate. A recent report by The Wall Street Journal said Facebook India executives failed to act against anti-Muslim posts by governing party leaders. Facebook has about 300 million users in India.

Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most successful Bollywood stars in the past 30 years [File: Hannah McKay/Reuters]

This week, the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteer organisation, which is the ideological parent of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), criticised Khan’s ties with Turkey, saying he was “forging friendships with those that are considered enemies of India”.

The RSS magazine, Organiser, put Khan on its cover calling him “The Dragon’s favourite Khan”, a reference to China.

The 55-year-old star was attacked for his massive popularity in China, which has been accused of transgressing into Indian territory across Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto border between the two Asian countries.

“Aamir seems to be the favourite of the Chinese Communist Party system and the fact his movies are doing so well is an indication that he is being promoted by Chinese state,” the editor of the weekly Hitesh Shankar told a news website.

Growing marginalisation of Muslims

Khan is a brand ambassador for Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, and is also a major draw on the mainland with films such as Dangal (2016). He has 1.16 million followers on China’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has fanned growing hostility towards China following a deadly clash on their disputed Himalayan border on June 15. Modi is a devout Hindu and a lifelong RSS member.

Since Modi came to power in 2014, the BJP government has enacted a number of policies that have raised fears of marginalisation among India 200-million-strong Muslim minority.

Bollywood's Three Khans

In the past, Hindu right-wing groups have called for boycott of films starring Khans, particularly Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan [Getty Images]

Last year, Modi’s government passed a citizenship law that made faith a basis for acquiring Indian citizenship in the officially secular nation. The new law, which sparked nationwide protests, was dubbed “fundamentally discriminatory” by the United Nations.

The three Khans

Bollywood has a long tradition of Muslim movie stars and the so-called three Khans – Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh – have dominated the industry for the last 30 years.

But Aamir Khan stands out because of his outspokenness.

He is one of Bollywood’s most bankable leading men and has appeared in dozens of films – often playing Hindu or Sikh heroes. He has an enormous fan club, which includes millions of Hindus.

Khan was the target of a vicious online campaign in 2015 and forced out of several advertisement campaigns after he said his wife feared for the safety of their children in India.

At the time, India was reeling under a climate of insecurity following the lynching of a Muslim man for allegedly eating beef, which many Hindus believe to be sacrilegious. Since then, dozens of Muslims have been lynched by Hindu mobs over rumours of cow slaughter or smuggling.

In the past, Hindu right-wing groups have called for boycott of films starring Khans, particularly Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan. In recent years, the three stars have largely remained silent on issues facing the minority community.

The BJP has denied its policies are against the minority community but has done little to stop its supporters from indulging in online hate speech against Muslims.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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