Another Bad Day for Bollywood: Aamir Khan On Verge of Being Cancelled for Meeting Turkey’s First Lady

Social Commentary

Another Bad Day for Bollywood: Aamir Khan On Verge of Being Cancelled for Meeting Turkey’s First Lady

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The social life of Aamir Khan turned into the subject of a heated debate on timelines this Monday, after a recent meeting with the first lady of Turkey, Emine Erdogan.

The actor, who was in the country to shoot his upcoming film visited the presidential residence of the Turkish leaders on Independence Day. According to reports, the meeting was requested by Khan.

The two eminent personalities are said to have discussed projects set up by Aamir and his wife Kiran Rao. The actor also spoke about how Kiran had lived in Turkey for a short while, reports said. The first lady later tweeted that it was a pleasure to meet Khan, sharing pictures that quickly went viral online.

This seemingly innocent exchange, however, became a thorn in the side of several Indians back home. Many took to social media to argue that since Turkey officially backed Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir, and that the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made anti-India statements in the past, the actor shouldn’t have arranged the meeting.

A few went as far as to declare Turkey an enemy of our nation, and implied — not for the first time — that Khan was anti-national.

Others wondered if Turkey’s PR teams were behind the high-profile meeting.

Among the claims were several reminders that the actor had refused to visit Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited India, a move that was praised at the time.

One journalist was, meanwhile, quoted as saying on Times Now that the actor should have sought permission from the External Affairs Ministry before setting the meeting up.

The actor received a fair share of support as well. Many were quick to point out that our Prime Minister too had met Erdogan in the past, and that clearly these customary meetings had no bearing on ideology.

Still the pictures of the meeting have been met with many calls to boycott the actor’s next film, Laal Singh Chaddha, which is said to be an Indian remake of Forrest Gump. The film is due for release next year, however, by which point the focus is sure to shift elsewhere.