- Shah Rukh Khan’s box office collection has been nowhere close to his stardom during the last 5-7 years.
- He lost his political clout from politicians as well as moral support from the Indian populace after calling India an ‘intolerant nation’
- Aryan Khan’s constant troubles are a clear indication of Shah Rukh’s decline as a public figure in the country.
Shah Rukh Khan’s influence on the film industry as well as on the minds of the audience is probably at its lowest in 33 years. Now thanks to the legal drama involving his son Aryan Khan’s drugs scandal, trends suggest that the last nail in the coffin of Shah Rukh’s declining career has been put in.
Shah Rukh’s professional woes
As he is struggling on the personal front, the ruthless nature of soft-spoken Bollywood seems to have hurt Shah Rukh, where it matters the most. According to the reports by various news portals, Shah Rukh’s upcoming movies ‘Lion’ and ‘Pathan’ have been put on hold by the makers.
According to a report by the IndiaToday, the shooting of ‘Lion’ has been put on hold for an indefinite amount of time after Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested by the narcotics control bureau( NCB). The source close to IndiaToday said, “SRK was shooting in South Mumbai for the Atlee (the director of ‘Lion’) film days before the arrest happened. There are some fight scenes that the unit had planned to wrap up. All that is now on indefinite hold.”
However, the news18 reported that Nayanthara, the lead actress of the movie was shooting her part with the body double of Shah Rukh Khan. Reports further indicate that the actress has left the movie. Nayanthara is believed to have other projects lined up for her which were facing rescheduling or cancellation due to postponing of ‘Lion’.
Not just ‘Lion’, Shah Rukh’s other venture ‘Pathan’ has also been hit hard by the Aryan Khan fiasco. It is believed that Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan were to fly to Spain for shooting a song for the Siddharth Anand-directed movie. However, like Nayanthara, Deepika is not believed to have left the movie. The report suggests that she has changed her schedule and now looking into other commitments whilst Shah Rukh’s embroilment in his son’s case is getting sorted. The report cites an insider claiming “Deepika’s calendar has The Intern remake and the big-ticket film with Hrithik Roshan. She has offered Pathan’s dates to her other commitments. The Pathan team will take a call on the shoot once things ease up for SRK.”
Aryan Khan’s arrest and hounding of an honest officer
As reported by the TFI, on 2nd October NCB arrested Shah Rukh’s son Aryan Khan and other high profile individuals involved in alleged drug use on a ship. The NCB claimed that Aryan Khan is a part of the much bigger international racket of illegal drug trafficking. From then on various courts have rejected the bail plea of Aryan Khan and he has been in judicial custody as NCB continues its further investigation. Lately, the former attorney General of India, Mukul Rohatgi has been appearing to defend Aryan Khan in the matter. Meanwhile, BYJU’s an ed-tech company dropped Shah Rukh from their ads after the scandal.
On the other hand, various left-wing activists-cum-intelligentsia have been targeting Sameer Wankhede, the officer who is responsible for Aryan Khan’s arrest. From calling Aryan Khan a Ram Bhakt to villanising Sameer as an extortionist, they have left no stone unturned while trying to shove a ‘poor Aryan Khan’ story to the public’s throat. NCP leader Nawab Malik has been especially going after Sameer so that he surrenders in fear and lets his hold loose on the case.
Shah Rukh Khan- An ‘outsider’ to megastar
Rumoured to be an outsider Shah Rukh Khan left his first mark in Bollywood with his TV serial Fauji in 1988. 4 years later, his first movie Deewana was released in which he played a sidekick. He took the scandalous route to gain fame in his early years with his nude scene with Deepa Shahi in the 1993 movie Maya Memsaab. After the failed attempt at short-cut route, he portrayed the role of villains in his next few movies like Baazigar, Darr. In 1995, he appeared as a lead male actor in Dilwaale Dulhaniya le jaayega (DDLJ). From DDLJ, he became a heartthrob for millions. Later his romantic avatar became his main identity and he later appeared in similar roles in Yes Boss, Pardesh, Kuch-Kuch Hota hai, Devdas, Kal Ho Na Ho, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Dilwale, and Jab Harry met Sejal. However, he may be known for being a romantic hero, but he has done various action-packed sequences in movies like Main Hoon Na, Don, Don2, Chennai express. In between all these, his hits like Chak De India and Swades often go unnoticed while describing his legacy.
Shah Rukh’s soft corner for Pakistan
As much as he is known for giving blockbusters, Shah Rukh Khan is not an alien to controversy. He is constantly being accused of being a pro-Pakistani face of Bollywood. His movies like Main Hoon Na, Veer Jara have especially been targeted for deliberating hiding the follies of Pakistan. Farah Khan, the director of Main Hoon Na, in fact, revealed that showcasing a Hindu ex-army man as a villain was a deliberate attempt to not showcase Muslims as a terrorist in the movie. Other than him cashing on his Pakistani fanbase, his hit movies like Chak De India and Raees have been accused of being serious attempts to showcase Muslims as a victim in the nation wherein real life they have got more rights than any other community. Earlier in his movie, My name is Khan, Shah Rukh had made an attempt to universalize Muslims as a victim by showcasing the alleged plight of Muslims in America after the crackdown by the US government on Islamists in the wake of 9/11.
You can not do business in a country by calling it intolerant
While poor reviews of his 2014 movie Happy New Year were an indication of Shah Rukhs’s declining career, his popularity made a rapid deceleration when in 2015 he decided to toe the Islamoleftists’ line and called India an intolerant nation. He faced severe criticism from his fans as well as his opponents. Some of his fans, in fact, never returned to watch his movies in theaters. Zero, Fan, Jab Harry met Sejal, his movies released after the controversial remark could never reach their potential box-office collection figures and they were criticised by critics as well as the audience. Uday Bhatia, a film critic for Mint derided him for romancing with an actress who is 22 years younger than him in Jab Harry Met Sejal.
If Aryan Khan would have been arrested before 2014, it’s entirely possible that he would be released within a day, thanks to his dad’s political connections with people like Amar Singh and Rajiv Shukla. But, the connections no longer work as now evidence and truth are at the forefront of any issue in the country. Along with losing political relevance, his dwindling connections, and fortunes, Shah Rukh Khan is at the cusp of his film career. Now, he has to decide whether he wants to retire as a hero or stay in the public space long enough to become a villain.