Three Khans of Bollywood

The three sultans of Bollywood


The three Khans that rule Bollywood are Shah Rukh Khan, alias the King Khan; Amir Khan, alias Mr. Perfection; and Salman Khan, alias Tiger Khan.

A lot is said and written about the narrow Hindu mentality, but there is little truth in this assertion. India does not only have the biggest film industry in the world, but also the largest democracy as well. India is by and large a secular society, and not a caste and class ridden one, despite what many believe. These three Muslims ruling the hearts of the Indian masses go a long way to show the secular nature of India, where talent, not religion, determines standing in society.

Shah Rukh Khan, also known as the Tom Cruise of India, started his acting career with small roles in television. It was through sheer will power and perseverance that he finally made it in the highly competitive world of Bollywood. SRK  had no connections in Bollywood, and it is only on the basis of being a good actor that he was able to earn a name for himself. SRK introduced the concept of anti-hero in Bollywood.

He is inspired by Rajesh Khanna and is said to copy the latter’s acting style; Khanna was the first mega star of Bollywood. Famous for his romantic roles, SRK has the singular honor that his film Dil Waley Dulhania Ley Jaine Gae,  made in 1995, is still running in a Mumbai Theater. King Khan also produced and directed Bollywood’s first sci-fi film, Ra-One. King Khan received international acclaim for his film My Name Is Khan, a post 9/11 depiction of the state of Muslims in America. He has received all the awards that Bollywood has to offer. He is happily married to a Hindu, Gauri Khan, and has three children.

Amir Khan, who is referred to as the Tom Hanks of Bollywood, is a thorough professional. He hails from a devout Muslim family with strong ties with Bollywood. He started acting at a very tender age. He, too, is a fan of Rajesh Khanna and Danny Day Lewis. Khan is very choosy about the films he acts in; unlike other stars, he only acts in one film at a time.

He shuns all the film awards and award ceremonies. He is the recipient of Padma Bhusan Award, one of the highest civilian awards conferred by the Indian government. He has made many memorable films, but 3 Idiots is by far the best. 3 Idiots is the highest grossing Indian film of all time. His film Lagaan (Land Tax) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He seldom acts in masala films, but has made an exception by acting in the recently released Dhoom 3.

He eloped and married his childhood sweetheart at the age of 21. He divorced her in 2001 and married Kiran Rao in 2005. Like King Khan, he too married a Hindu.

Salman Khan is the most controversial of the three Khans, but despite his “bad boy” image he is a rage with the common man. In 1998, he was arrested and jailed for trophy hunting an endangered specie of black deer. Famous for showing off his biceps and six-packs, he is also fondly referred to as Banyan (vest) Khan. He, too, like Amir has a long association with Bollywood, as his father was a famous screen writer.  Sallu’s favorite actor is Sylvester Stallone.

Sallu is the most eligible bachelor in Bollywood. He has had affairs with all the leading ladies he has worked with to date.  His most controversial affair was with Aashwariya Rai, now Aashwariya Rai Bacchan, wife of Abhishek. Abishekh is the son of the legendary Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bacchan, popularly know all over the world as Big B.

Sallu’s film Phir Milinge  (We Will Meet Again), 2004, in which he plays as an AIDS patient, brought him international acclaim. Dabaang 2 is his most recent hit. Apart from being a great actor, Sallu is also an accomplished host. Presently, he hosts the Big Boss reality television show. Big Boss is the Indian version of the famous U.K. franchise Big Brother.

Both Salman and Shah Rukh have their wax-statues at Madame Tussaud. Amir Khan, though, refused. Apart from being great actors all three are great philanthropists as well. They never miss an opportunity to alleviate the suffering of the poor masses. Hail to the three Khans of Bollywood.

 By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada



The Economic Times

Press of Atlantic City