In response to whether or not his life would have been different if he had been Hindu, Shah Rukh said, "I would still smell as sweet."
Shah Rukh Khan, one of the biggest stars in Indian cinema, has frequently been in the spotlight. And now that he's back, fans are making a big deal out of the fact that he's starring in the action film Pathaan from Yash Raj Films alongside Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. However, not all of the buzz has been good; hateful hashtags like #BoycottPathaan have been circulating online on a daily basis. Besharam Rang, the film's theme song, has also been at the center of controversy ever since it debuted, with some people finding it offensive and calling for it to be changed.
The home minister of Madhya Pradesh, Narottam Mishra, was offended by Deepika and Shah Rukh's attire and dance moves in the music video, and now many people are raising eyebrows over Deepika's saffron-colored swimsuit. Many of Shah Rukh's films have been released into environments marked by trolling or boycotting campaigns, so he is used to dealing with this kind of attention.
In the midst of all this hubbub, it is worth remembering what Shah Rukh himself had to say about art and religion at a previous event.
Someone in the crowd asked the celebrity if he ever thinks about how his life might have been different if he had been born a Hindu or given a different name. The person began by suggesting Shekhar Krishna as an alternative name for SRK, to which the actor responded with his signature wit by saying his Hindu name should be Shekhar Radha Krishna since the omission of the letter 'R' in the actor's name rendered the name, Shekhar Krishna.
Continuing to explain why he didn't think he'd be any different if he'd been born into a different community, Shah Rukh said, "I don't think there would be any different. In my opinion, artists have the power to unite people regardless of their background or religious beliefs; all that matters is whether or not you appreciate the work. The actor concluded with a grin, "It doesn't matter what you call me; I'd still smell as sweet." The crowd applauded enthusiastically.