Narendra Modi has been the most charismatic, although somewhat divisive,character to appear on the Indian political scene recently. He has managed to win an army of admirers because of the so-called Gujarat model of development, to which is attributed the creation of Gujarat, the most economically sound region of the country, under his leadership. However, a decade of peace and prosperity has not been able to make many of his detractors forget the infamous riots of 2002 when people from a particular community faced persecution and attack. Under his leadership, the Bharatiya Janata Party registered a thumping victory in the 2014 general election with an outright majority. This has created severe discontent among a lot of people, to be frank. It is rumored that Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan will leave the country because of Modi’s election win. However, there are no confirmed reports that this will occur.
The controversy involving the possibility of ‘King Khan,’ i.e. Khan, leaving India after Modi’s election win has spread like wildfire across the social media landscape. Many users have claimed that Khan made an earlier promise that he will stop living in India should Modi head the government of this country.
Several supporters of Modi have demanded that Khan issue a formal statement. They insist that the 48-year-old actor should speak out on whether he is going to stick to his promise now that Modi has won the election. This has created quite a buzz among Twitter users, with people on both side of the divide freely expressing their views on the matter. Khan is one of the greatest actors in Bollywood history and if he leaves India because of Modi’s election win, it would be a heartbreaking move.
Some of the other lesser-known, publicity-seeking characters have added fire to this controversy. One such perennially attention-seeking character is Kamal R. Khan, a small-time actor who tweeted a picture of himself on a flight, apparently leaving India for good. He claims that he has followed through on his promise that he will not live in India if Modi becomes the Prime Minister of India. Although Modi is not the Prime Minister yet, he will take that responsibility soon. He is not challenging others who are rumored to have made similar promises. However, there has been no confirmation of a promise made by Shahrukh Khan. Many of the Modi fans have tweeted to ask Shahrukh Khan to leave India. However, several of his fans have countered them on the social networking platform and have denied the stories of any promise made by Shahrukh Khan.
The saving grace in this entire matter has come from the Varanasi wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has made it clear that Shahrukh Khan made no such promises, and never uttered anything negative about Modi or BJP. This is extremely significant because Varanasi was one of the two seats from where Modi fought this election, and won with a huge margin.
Therefore, at this point in time, it seems that the rumor about any such promise made by Shahrukh Khan regarding leaving India after Modi’s election win was a crass rumor. However, the ever-evolving situation and highly active social media in the country means that this situation could change at the drop of a hat.
Opinion By Sunando Basu