Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan faces vile media assault

Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan faces vile media assault for visiting a Hindu shrine of Kedarnath, despite the fact that her grandmother and actress Sharmila Tagore hails from a Hindu Brahmin family, but converted to Islam after marrying India’s then-cricket icon, Mohammad Mansoor Ali Khan Siddiqui Pataudi. Writes Ashlyn Davis

Bollywood actress Sara Ali Khan was bitterly and vehemently chastised by Muslims online for her recent visit to the Hindu shrine, Kedarnath. Sara Ali Khan, who acts in Hindi movies, hails from the distinguished Pataudi family of Afghan descent. The princely title was awarded to the family by the British after Faiz Talab Khan aided them in ambushing the Hindu Maratha Empire in 1804.

The influential family, an erstwhile royal family that lost its right to reign after the abolition of monarchy and establishment of democracy in the country. Nevertheless, the family retains a great deal of influence because of its achievements in the fields of cricket and cinema, and for being distantly related to one of India’s greatest poets, Rabindranath Tagore.

Sara Ali Khan’s paternal grandmother hails from a Hindu Brahmin family, but converted to Islam after marrying India’s then-cricket icon, Mohammad Mansoor Ali Khan Siddiqui Pataudi.

Unlike most Muslim actors of Bollywood, who have dedicated most of their non-shooting hours to criticizing Hindutva or the current government, Sara Ali Khan, who was born to a Muslim father and Sikh mother who converted to Islam after marriage, has presented herself as respectful of the Hindus, as well as of the government. This has often resulted in her being brutally attacked by Muslims online.

Muslims have shamed her for wearing “un-Islamic” clothes on a routine basis. For years she has been on the receiving end of the ire of Muslims for participating in Hindu celebrations such as Holi or Diwali, observing Hindu rituals such as Rakshabandhan, or wishing the Hindus on their religious festivities, such as the Ganesh Chaturthi.

“Are you a Muslim?” “You should drop your Muslim last name,” “You are not Muslim enough,” “Shame on you,” are among the comments.

The actress again came under fire from enraged Muslims after posting images from her visit to a Hindu pilgrimage site, the Kedarnath temple, that she visited with a Hindu actress, Jahnvi Kapoor, a couple of days ago. A barrage of despicable comments quickly appeared in her comment section, many of them stomach-turning. Muslims not only questioned her faith, disparaged her upbringing, and slandered the Hindu belief system. Some also declared her a kaffir.

This is comical, because this army of bigoted Muslim foot soldiers on social media that shame a Hindu celebrity for visiting the Hindu site cannot type “Masha Allah” and “Alhamdullilah” enough times when a Hindu celebrity pays a visit to a Muslim shrine, as did Ajmer Shariff Dargha. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling, and the Muslim trolls flaunt it with immense pride.

The Muslims of the virtual world are not just faceless trolls. Muslim journalists have shamed the 25-year-old for not detesting Hindu political leaders or the government; Sara Ali Khan was criticized by a Muslim journalist for sending birthday greetings to the Home Minister of India last month.

The audacity of a “journalist” questioning a free Indian adult over her sending a union minister birthday greetings is beyond sickening. These Muslims, who are serving the ultimate goal of Islam, are blinded by their radical mindset and refuse to remember that India grants the right of expression to her citizens.

Interestingly, Sara Ali Khan is not the only Muslim celebrity who has become the target of terror elements active in the virtual world. Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan have also received harsh criticism for hosting Hindu festivals (SRK’s wife is a Hindu, Salman Khan’s mother is a Hindu, and her father is a Muslim). Though they have left no stones unturned to woo their Muslim fanbase, including defending Pakistan at times, their loyalty towards Islam has been doubted by some Muslims.

Muslims don’t hold back from tearing Muslim sportsmen to shreds, either, should they fail to meet the standards of Islam. Cricket star Mohammad Shami received many nasty comments last year after he shared an image of his four-year-old daughter dressed in a saree at a Saraswati Puja (a Hindu occasion dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati) venue. While some had tutored him on how to be a good Muslim, others advised him to remove “Mohammad” from his name.

Again, if polished and award-winning journalists do not refrain from flashing communal bigotry in various avenues of the virtual world, it is only obvious that some Muslims will unleash terror online and hunt down a Muslim celebrity for being audacious enough to be a secular.

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