The recent controversy about non inclusion of Pakistani players in the 3rd season of IPL has reached new heights. After the Pakistani players were completely overlooked by all the participating teams, voices were raised from many quarters in this regard. While Shilpa Shetty clearly stated that she was not answerable to anyone for her business decisions, one team owner spoke out in support of the Pakistani players.

Shahrukh Khan, the sad owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, spoke out in support of Pakistani players. He said that his team needed a certain type of bowler and hence did not hire one of the Pakistani players up for auction. He also said that if there were any empty slots in his team, he would hire the best possible player without worrying about the player’s nationality. SRK clarified that the Pakistani players were welcome in his team and his decisions were not based on “India vs. Pakistan” theme.

How nice! But all these big words, said to appease the Pakistanis, angered a certain section of people at home. Bal Thackeray and his Shiv Sena clearly did not find SRK’s comments charitable. The Shiv Sena supporters have staged a protest against SRK. A lot has been written about his “pro-Pakistan” stand in Saamna. SRK has been advised to hire Ajmal Kasab as the captain of his KKR and he has also been asked to relocate to any of the cities in Pakistan. He has been accused of having insulted the martyrs of 26/11 with his pro-Paki stand. The Sena supporters have even burned SRK’s posters and the party’s leaders have demanded a boycott of My Name Is Khan. Yesterday Shiv Sainiks created a ruckus outside SRK’s residence Mannat, giving rise to concerns about the star’s security.

Security has been beefed up outside Mannat and the police is trying to bring the situation under control. A bunch of around 30 Shiv Sainiks were also arrested in this regard. But nobody knows how this incident will affect the fate of My Name Is Khan. MNIK is the about-to-be-released film of King Khan, directed by Karan Johar and brings back the SRK-Kajol jodi after a gap of 8 years. The trio has been known to weave magic on the screens every time they work together. The promos of MNIK look very good and are already being talked about. The film is all set to release on 12 February. But the question is, will Shiv Sainiks allow the film to be released in Mumbai? They have already advised cinema hall managers to boycott the film completely.

But MNIK has a lot of money riding on it and it seems unlikely that cinema hall managers or owners would want to miss out on one of the most awaited films of 2010. Let’s hope MNIK is released without any problems so that the Mumbaikars can enjoy the latest offering from this lucky trio!

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Lavanya Mehra


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