For the last few days, actor Aamir Khan has been the subject of lurid and frankly vitriolic abuse online simply because he met Turkey President Recep Erdogan’s wife Emine Erdogan. This isn’t Aamir Khan’s first tussle with the RW Twitter who claim he’s pushing an ‘Islamist agenda’.
Thousands attacked and stopped using Snapdeal simply when Aamir Khan spoke about rising intolerance in 2015, hellbent on proving his point about intolerance to criticism. They even got Snapdeal to drop him.
The attacks are back to taunt Aamir Khan him for meeting Erdogan’s wife and Turkey’s First Lady while scouring shooting locations for Laal Singh Chadha.
Several Twitter users shared posts of him allegedly refusing to meet Netanyahu juxtaposing it to seem that he was an Islamist.
The criticism hasn’t even been only from anonymous Twitterati but senior BJP leaders as well.
Balijayant Panda, who quit BJD to join BJP wrote on Twitter: “Do read. "Terrorists kill 3 security personnel in J&K" is the headline today. & every week. They are with LeT of Pakistan & are openly encouraged by some foreign leaders. Anger & resentment in India are only natural when Bollywood celebrities hobnob with those leaders' families.”
Kapil Mishra, a former AAP MLA and Greenpeace and Amnesty India employee, who appears to have swapped ideologies, even shared a fake post from a website called Kreately which was titled: “My name is Khan and I believe in Caliphate : Amir Khan.”
The article, which failed to spell Aamir Khan’s name right, claimed: “Remember all these Khans of Bollywood, publicly took a stand of not attending a dinner meet with Israel PM when he was visiting India. Why, because Israel is a nation of Kafirs. What Amir Khan is doing proves one more thing: money, respect, name and fame earned all this from a Hindu Majority Nation, Amir Khan dreams about converting India into an Islamic Nation.”
It wasn't clear whether the post was fake or satirical though the lack of anything resembling humour should comfortably rule out the latter.
Their opposition perhaps stems from Erdogan emerging as the only Muslim leader willing to criticise India on Jammu and Kashmir, barring Pakistan of course. Although, even Erdogan is far less vocal about criticising China about Uighurs.
The Selected Captain, as Imran is mockingly called, appears to believe that raking up Kashmir is the only to keep the public on his side amid myriad issues. It’s an approach that’s common, and quite unequivocally used this side of the border by the ruling dispensation.
The OIC has refused to jump into the issue, and Pakistan was humiliated and forced to return a billion-dollar loan to Saudi Arabia after badmouthing the Arab nation for not taking the lead to condemn ‘atrocities in Kashmir’.
Some believe that Turkey is even funding political agenda and expand its influence among South Asian Muslims.
A July report in HT states: “The Erdogan government has been funding religious seminars in India, recruiting fundamentalists to radicalise people and even take freshly-minted radicals on all-expense trips to Turkey to reinforce their learnings.”
Yet, to vilify Aamir Khan for meeting the First Lady of Turkey is an atrocious attack on a private free citizen of India, one who has contributed so greatly to the nation’s art and culture.
It’s not like ruling dispensation has any issues with Khan’s visit.
Ambassador to Turkey Sanjay Panda wrote on Twitter: “That special moment - First Lady H.E. @EmineErdogan receives India’s Cultural Ambassador and one of our finest exponents of meaningful cinema @aamir_khan on a location scouting trip to Turkey for his latest film #LaalSinghChhadha.”
One can safely assume that a representative of the country’s bureaucratic service speaks the government’s tone more than leaders who don its party colours.