All posts tagged: Hindu supremacists

How a Bollywood Actor Became More Than a Matinee Idol

How a Bollywood Actor Became More Than a Matinee Idol

[ad_1] In early September, Jawan, or “Soldier,” Indian cinema’s latest mega-budget extravaganza, registered the highest opening-day gross in Bollywood history. The film’s success cemented the remarkable renaissance of Shah Rukh Khan, the country’s biggest movie star, after a turbulent phase in the era of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To greet the movie’s arrival, boisterous drum parades—akin to the festivities of a wedding procession—set off from various neighborhoods to catch an opening-day screening. Outside cinemas, fans poured milk over giant cutout images of the star, honoring the Muslim actor with a rite usually reserved for Hindu deities. From July/August 2021 issue: Can Bollywood survive Modi? As the son of a nonviolent activist against British colonial rule, and as a Muslim married to a Hindu, Khan has been a popular symbol of pluralism that the Hindu right has long found irksome. In a 2007 biography of Khan, the film critic Anupama Chopra described him as “bigger than Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt combined,” “a modern-day god” who has shrines erected in his name. Khan has endured a …