Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday pulled up Indian Express for taking a dig at him after he addressed Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan with ‘Shri’ while tweeting about his 2 AM call ahead of the release of his film Pathaan. Khan had called Sarma on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday after reports of protests against the release of Pathaan emerged.
That ‘Shri’ reflects dignity of my office.I have not called anyone but it is the actor who called me and introduced himself. My assurance on law & order only reflects my constitutional duty. There is nothing to take dig at. https://t.co/bkPzrDPcqc
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) January 22, 2023
In a tweet, Sarma said that his usage of ‘Shri’ for Shah Rukh Khan reflects the dignity of the office he holds as the chief minister of a state. He clarified that it was not him but Khan who called and introduced himself. Sarma further added that his assurance on law and order only reflects his constitutional duty and there is nothing to take a dig at it.
Sarma was responding to an article by Indian Express titled, “Politics | ‘Who is SRK to Shri SRK in only 24 hrs’: Opposition takes digs at Himanta Biswa Sarma”. In the article, IE wrote about how when Sarma tweeted and addressed Khan as ‘Shri’, opposition leaders pointed out how Sarma had just 24 hours priors said he is not aware of Khan.
While addressing a press conference earlier on Saturday, Sarma had said, “If someone files a case in a police station, we will take action immediately. I don’t know what this Pathaan-Wathaan is. I haven’t heard of it, I haven’t seen it. I don’t have time for this … Who is Shah Rukh Khan? Why should we worry about it, we have so many Shah Rukh Khans here. ‘Dr Bezbaruah’ (upcoming Assamese film) will be released, we might as well worry about that … Those who have made the film have also not said anything. I take everyone’s phone calls. Why should we worry? Shah Rukh Khan would have (called) if there was a problem … If Shah Rukh Khan calls, I’ll see what the issue is.”
Reportedly, members of Bajrang Dal entered Narengi, Guwahati and tore the posters. They raised slogans against the film as well. There have been multiple incidents of protests against the film across the country.
However, Khan called up Sarma and expressed concern over the protests, to which, Sarma assured law and order as the head of the state. Soon after Sarma’s tweet, opposition leaders took a dig at Sarma for having addressed Khan as ‘Shri’.
Backlash against Pathaan
Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer spy-action film by Yash Raj Films, Pathaan, is scheduled for release on January 25. The movie has already made headlines multiple times for several wrong reasons. First, the song Besharam Rang allegedly hurt religious sentiments as Deepika was seen wearing a saffron bikini while romanticising with SRK in the song. Later, the second song, ‘Jhoome Jo Pathaan’, stirred controversy as the song was reused version of music director Vishal-Shekhar old song. Furthermore, netizens have alleged that many scenes of the film were copied or inspired by Hollywood films.