The Journal News on April 14, 2012 reported: When Shah Rukh Khan, one of India’s biggest movie stars, was detained for more than an hour at Westchester County Airport on Thursday, it prompted international headlines and much hand-wringing by Indian and U.S. officials. The American Embassy in Delhi quickly issued an apology for the delay faced by the actor, who was en route to Yale University to accept a Chubb Fellowship, an honor previously bestowed upon Jimmy Carter and Walter Cronkite.
Khan was two hours late for the event and when he arrived he declared:
“We were detained at the airport as always. For 1 1/2 hours. It was nice. It always happens when I come to America. They (immigration officials) always ask me how tall I am, and I always lie and say 5 feet 10 inches. Next time I am going to get more adventurous. (If they ask me) ‘What color are you,’ I am going to say white."
Mr. Khan is well aware of the warnings all foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States are given which includes the statement:
Be extremely careful how you answer seemingly innocent questions from the immigration authorities, as you could find yourself being refused entry if you give incriminating answers - immigration officials never ask innocent questions. If you’re singled out for closer examination, your passport and other documents may be placed in a red folder and you will be asked to go to a separate waiting room for an interview.
The Journal News continued:
This was the second time the actor had faced undue delays at a U.S. airport. In 2009, he made worldwide headlines after being stopped for questioning at Newark Liberty International Airport on his way to Chicago. Some called it a publicity stunt as the trip was to promote a new film, “My Name Is Khan".
Aseem Chhabra, a columnist for the Mumbai Mirror, who was awaiting the actor at Yale, commented that "'King Khan' is George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise all put together". By which he presumably meant that Khan had "slept with too many women, done too many drugs, and been to too many parties" (Clooney); "can break wind and eat ice cream in bed" (Pitt); or has like a 'TomKat' declared his "love" for the 'latest of his latest' by jumping up and down on a couch (Cruise).
“He’s so articulate, charming, bright and irreverent,” continued Chhabra, “I’m always floored by his quick wit and intelligence.”
Mr. Chhabra's enconium leads me to conclude that he must have been so inebriated, intoxicated or just plain 'high' by "King Khan's" leonine presence at Yale that he was forced to hold on to the floor in an attempt to prevent the room from spinning!
Chhabra went on to cry that he had been busy "trying to reason" with his Twitter followers from India who were upset about the incident. “The Indian fans will never understand this,” he said. “For them it’s a big insult.”
Regrettably none of the Yale literary luminaries, perhaps because they too had adopted Mr. Chhabra's horizontal position on the spinning floor, seemed inclined to ask Mr. Chhabra if an explanation for this lack of understanding might be that Chhabra's Twitter disciples were perhaps just simply 'twits'?
Higher in the twittering intelligentsia, Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna called the incident “a habit of detention and then apology” by U.S. officials. “This cannot continue. We need an assurance that this won’t happen again,” he said.
OK. How about this, Mr. Krishna? American immigration officials, instead of genuflecting to Indian 'royalty,' might place 'King Khan' on a 'no-entry' list. Three strikes and you're out! Enforcement should be easy. On the King's third and final visit he should indeed be asked what color he is and if he replies that he is 'white', as he has promised to do, he should be deported immediately back to Mumbai to be greeted there by his mis-understanding 'twits'. You, Mr. Krishna, could perhaps join the others in greeting him at the airport?
Sadly, however, I have no recommendation for Mr. Mehta, one of King Khan's Rockland County 'twits'. Mr. Mehta, the former president of the India Cultural Society of Rockland, said the detention was unfair and asked: “Why is it happening to him? He’s an Indian superstar. They should consider this,” Mehta said. “Is it because he has a Muslim last name? Not everyone with that last name is a terrorist.”
Mr. Mehta, many who have been questioned by American immigration officials, including myself, have a non-Muslim last name and not everyone with a non-Muslim last name is a terrorist either.
What happened to King Khan is quite simple - in addition to being the 'King of the Indian Twits' he behaved like a 'Bollywood Bozo!'
And with that said I would invite you to 'tweet', or 'twit' no more about it.