On a day Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was detained at a US airport, sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan expressed shock after a UK visa was denied to him.
US diplomats quickly apologized after SRK tweeted that he had been detained — apparently over his Muslim identity — yet again at an airport in the US.
After the apologies, the actor said he respects protocol but being stopped at the airport was “a tad inconvenient”.
The sarod maestro was more livid. “Shocked & appalled. UK visa rejected,” he tweeted on Friday.
Amjad Ali Khan said he was scheduled to perform at the Royal Festival Hall in London in September. He said the rejection was “extremely sad for artists who are spreading the message of love and peace”.
Amjad Ali Khan said he had been performing almost every year in the United Kingdom since the early 1970s. “Upset to have my visa rejected.”
Shah Rukh Khan said: “I fully understand and respect security with the way the world is, but to be detained at US immigration every damn time really really sucks,” Shah Rukh posted on Friday morning.
The actor flew into Los Angeles for personal reasons, a source close to the actor said.
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Biswal tweeted: “Sorry for the hassle at the airport – even American diplomats get pulled for extra screening!”
In response, Shah Rukh tweeted: “No hassle ma’am. Respect the protocol, not expecting to be above it. Appreciate your graciousness, it’s just inconvenient.”
The US ambassador to India, Richard Verma, also apologized to the superstar.
“Sorry for the trouble at LAX … We are working to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Your work inspires millions, including in the US,” Verma tweeted.
To him, Shah Rukh wrote: “No trouble sir, respect the protocol and not expecting to be above it. It’s just a tad inconvenient. Thanks for your concern.”
The actor, whose millions of fans are spread across the world and is one of the highest paid actors of Hindi cinema, kept himself entertained during the detention.
“The brighter side is while waiting caught some really nice Pokemons,” he posted.
This is not the first time Shah Rukh was detained at a US airport.
In 2012, he was detained at New York for two hours when he had arrived to visit Yale University, where he was honoured as a Chubb Fellow.
In 2009, he was stopped at the Newark Airport, New Jersey, and was released after two hours at the intervention of the Indian consulate in New York.
Back then, he had said he was “really hassled at the American Airport because of my name being Khan.
“I felt angry and humiliated… It is a Muslim name and I think the name is common on their checklist.”