Monday, 27 June, 2022
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Shah Rukh Khan didn’t ‘spit’ at Lata Mangeshkar’s funeral. This is what his gesture meant

After Shah Rukh Khan read a ‘dua’ next to mortal remains of Lata Mangeshkar, several Twitter users including Haryana BJP leader Arun Yadav questioned if the actor spat.

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New Delhi: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s prayer for legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar at her cremation in Mumbai Sunday has triggered a massive row on social media over the manner in which he prayed for the departed soul.

After videos came out of Khan reading a ‘dua’ (prayer) next to the mortal remains of Mangeshkar, several Twitter users including Haryana’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) information technology in-charge Arun Yadav questioned if the actor spat during his prayer.

Another user also sought to allege that Khan did spit while paying tributes.


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Blowing air after ‘dua’

On Sunday, Khan arrived at the Shivaji Park to bid farewell to Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar. Many other prominent Indians were in attendance, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and actor Aamir Khan.

As Khan stepped on the stage along with his manager Pooja Dadlani to bid a final goodbye to the legend, he raised his hands in dua and then took off his mask to blow air. He then folded his hands and encircled her body to pay respects.

The act of blowing air after the dua has been falsely interpreted as him “spitting”.

According to Professor Akhtarul Wasey, Board of Studies, Department of Islamic Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Jodhpur, while he can’t comment on specifically which prayer Khan recited, the gesture of blowing air after reading a dua is a traditional Islamic practice during funerals.

“When a Muslim attends the last rites of a near one, they read a prayers and then blow air like (SRK did). This is their way to say a final goodbye. This shouldn’t be seen in a wrong way,” said Wasey.

Several others tweeted the video, stating that it’s an act of faith. These included Congress leaders B.V. Srinivas and Urmila Matondkar, also an actor, and Bollywood film producer Priya Gupta.

Some users even tried to explain the act by sharing a clip from the 2010 Karan Johar-directed film, My Name is Khan, in which SRK’s character is seen blowing air on his son after a prayer.

Yadav and others claim it’s about politics and imposition

After the outrage on Twitter over this ‘bigotry’, Haryana BJP leader Arun Yadav sought to claim that he only enquired what Khan did, but the criticism of his tweet only showed that “opponents” of PM Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath don’t like his work in “national interests”.

Other users sought to allege that Khan was trying to “normalise culture with non believers”.

“If u resist Hindu culture, u have no business imposing urs- least of all on such somber occasion & without family approval! (sic),” added chartered accountant Alok Bhatt.

(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)


Also read: SRK, Munawar, Shami – 2021 showed the fragility of Indian Muslims’ celebrity status


 

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