We received a huge response to a guest blog post we put up on Koimoi.com on December 15. The post, which spoke about the PR activities of Bollywood stars, including Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, received a lot of comments, both positive and negative, on the website as well as across the social media. At Koimoi.com, we believe in giving space to different, even divisive, views on Bollywood stars and their films. Hence this next guest blog post, an insightful and opinionated rebuttal by a reader. Read on…

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Over the past year, I have noticed that the negativity towards Shah Rukh Khan has increased exponentially. From the way he promotes films to the way he conducts his personal matters have all come under intense scrutiny. I do not know the reason behind this but I have some opinions of my own to share with you all.

Shah Rukh Khan And Suhana
Even a 'brand' like Shah Rukh Khan has the right to have a fun moment with his family.

I recently read a blog post on Koimoi.com titled From Loving Shah Rukh Khan To Liking Salman Khan which I found to be rather shocking as it was supposedly written by a “self-confessed die-hard Shah Rukh Khan fan.” The post claimed that a normal bike ride with Suhana, Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter, was an orchestrated publicity stunt. This was also exaggerated by the media but I believe that this claim is baseless and completely ludicrous. It was just a bike ride with his daughter. Even a ‘brand’ like Shah Rukh Khan has the right to have a fun moment with his family. Riding a bike in Mannat’s parking area probably is not all that exhilarating as roaming the streets of Mumbai. People jump to conclusions too early without analysing something and tend to look into everything more than they should. At the end of the day, Shah Rukh Khan is just a human being like all of us and is entitled to the same activities we derive pleasure out of. Being accompanied by bodyguards is necessary for his and Suhana’s protection. The media always follows stars so it’s nothing new that photos of the bike ride were taken.

Moving onto the promotion of Shah Rukh’s films, the only thing I have to say it that the way he promoted Ra.One and Don 2 is completely justified. Ra.One was a new concept that needed to be introduced to the public and that is exactly what Shah Rukh did. Whatever people might think, Ra.One was India’s first true superhero film. Drona and Krrish, the two previous attempts, lacked world-class special effects and in my opinion had worse plots. Robot is mistakenly categorised as a superhero film by much of the public when it was basically an adaptation of EPICAC, a short story by Kurt Vonnegut from Welcome to the Monkey House, in which a robot falls in love with a human.

Moving to Don 2, people are saying that the promotions are not at the level of Ra.One and that Shah Rukh Khan has “learned his lesson”. Don is already an established franchise that was started off by Amitabh Bachchan and continued by Farhan Akthar and Shah Rukh Khan. It is not a new concept and people are already aware who Don is, what happened at the end of the 2006 remake, and probably what to expect from Don 2. All-out promotions are not needed for this type of a film as it already is present in the collective memory of the populace.

Shah Rukh Khan Promote Ra.One And Don 2
Shah Rukh Khan promoting Ra.One (left) and Don 2 (right).

Promotions are important and the fact that you stay in the public eye when doing something new is vital. All of this has been done in Hollywood for ages. Why do we have a problem with it? The author of ‘From Loving Shah Rukh Khan To Liking Salman Khan’ also stated that the mantra for promotion these days seems to be “cheap controversies” leading to “great TRPs.” Firstly, I do not know if that was only meant for Veena Malik’s recent FHM debacle or Shah Rukh’s bike ride, or both, but the fact is that being in the media eye does lead to more people watching your show. Mark my word, Veena Ka Vivah, the new show where she tries to find a husband, will benefit from all this controversy.

Lastly, everything cannot be a rage like Kolaveri Di. Promotions are essential to a film and comparing Kolaveri Di to the promotion techniques of others is wrong and does not take into account the countless factors that lead to success for different types of films, genres, and types of products.

Also, Shah Rukh Khan and his team have the right to promote films the way they deem fit. I am sure various promotional strategies were discussed for both, Ra.One and Don 2. In my opinion, they were right in the way they carried it out. The fact that the buzz levels for Don 2 and Ra.One are similar when one week before their release is a testament to that.

Coming back to Shah Rukh Khan and the Salman Khan clash, I would like to add that Shah Rukh Khan is himself, and he always has been so. Being talked about in the media, giving interviews, having photos taken, brings him closer to his fans and I consider it a blessing. I feel that his humanity, his intellect, his wit, his being, shines through because of this. Shah Rukh is a person who has been in the spotlight for many years now and his personality is exactly the same when I look at his videos from ten years ago. The only difference is that he has grown over the years as an actor, businessman and human, and sure knows what he’s doing more than what a blogger or two might say. Sure, he has made mistakes many times, but I do not think that this controversy over promoting films is one of them.

I do not believe that he is manipulating people as the author of the other blog suggests. He is just showing us who he is. If we like it, then great, if we don’t, then it’s shouldn’t be a problem. He says what he wants to say and does what he wants to do. If that’s not being true to himself, then I do not know what is.

Ra.One Poster, Bodyguard Poster
I knew of Salman Khan only when comparisons between Ra.One & Bodyguard started.

It would be sacrilegious of me to end this post without speaking about Salman Khan, Shah Rukh’s friend-turned-foe and apparent arch rival. I live in Washington DC where Bollywood films hardly ever play. I was recently introduced to the new generation of Bollywood films and have not seen much of the work by Salman Khan but did get a chance to catch his latest release, Bodyguard (Note: The line was changed as per the author’s request). The only other things I’ve heard about Salman are that he is the “bad boy” of Bollywood and is involved in a considerable amount of legal problems. I do not feel comfortable commenting on Salman as I do not know as much about him nor have I seen many of his films. He might be a favorite in India but he certainly isn’t mine. I have seen Bodyguard and thought it was not a great piece of work. That is my opinion but people in India apparently loved the movie.

This period of intense hatred (I don’t know what else to call it) will pass and Shah Rukh Khan will emerge victorious in the end. This will happen because Shah Rukh Khan has a great personality, is true to himself, and has great on-screen presence. Don 2 will be the start of that followed by his next venture with Yash Chopra.

I would also like to warn all fans of other actors who bash people who like Shah Rukh Khan on Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media. The fact that you go all out to insult an individual you have never met and claim to know rather well will only result in a backlash towards your favorite actor. I have gotten such messages on Twitter and it only makes me hate the star you worship more than the person sending the messages. I am correct in saying this because recently the number of groups making fun of Salman Khan’s upcoming project have increased ten-fold on Facebook. As the saying goes, what goes around comes around, so you better be prepared for what’s coming your way. I would advise everyone to debate the actor’s body of work than their personal lives and stop making homophobic and racist comments against these individuals as seems to be the norm these days on social networks.

Asher Madan is a medical student in Washington DC. He is also a fan of Shah Rukh Khan and blogs about Bollywood and the latest films often on his Google Blog. You can reach him via Twitter at @ashermadan.

By Koimoi.com Team

Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One: Negativity Towards Film

Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One: Profit & Loss Account

Shah Rukh Khan Breaks Salman Khan’s Weekend Box-Office Record

Salman Khan Defeats Shah Rukh & Aamir In Fastest Rs. 100 Crore Race

Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One Vs Salman Khan’s Bodyguard: Resting The Debate

Eros Clears Air Over Factually Incorrect Ra.One Box-Office Report

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132 COMMENTS

  1. well done…wat a masterpiece… seriously Indian media gives full support to a criminal when he gives 14crs for promotions to them bodyguard verdict….all fans of SALMAN r just blindly loving him just coz of his face n physique mmthough they really know wat type of WOMEN BEATER n killer he is n then they take participate in ANNA’S ANTI CORRUPTION movement n say their is no LAW n ORDER in india.. SRK is the best human being superstar of INDIA who represents India worldwide.

    • Itna achcha hai koi bhi top leage actors like Sallu, amir, ajay or akhshay uska dost kyun nehi. woh to akela ho gaya hai bollywood main . Is liye apni ladki ke sath cycle chalata hai.Kitna andha pyaar karoge SRK ko. Woh budhdha ko chor do.

      • do all the actors need to be friends? anyway srk has his own friend group with people like hrithik, arjun, karan, riteish, chunky, and many female costars, etc. he doesn’t get along w/ salman, but has no problem with ajay or akshay. and with aamir he is cordial, but what kind of friendship can u have with someone who called u a dog? hmm? anyway, srk always compared to every actor but he is always consistent and emerges on top.

    • Lekin Being Human to Sallu ka hai. SRK apne kaam ke liye sab kuch karta hai. Kaam ho jane ke baad sab ko chor deta hai( sallu, Sourav Ganguly etc.). Salman kya pura duniya ko paisa diya tha ke BODYGUARD 250 Crore kamaya. SRK ka kya paisa nehi tha ke RA 1, Bodyguard ko nehi hara paya.

      • actually bodyguard made 229 crores and ra.one is at 240. at least according to wikipedia haha. i guess youre making up your numbers too.

        • Check this news of CNN-IBN:

          http://ibnlive.in.com/news/raone-fails-to-beat-bodyguard-3-idiots-at-bo/199261-8-66.html

          SRK’s ‘RA.One’ fails to beat ‘Bodyguard’, ‘3 Idiots’ at BO

          Mumbai: It has managed to set a few records at the ticket window, but post the initial draw, the collections of ‘RA.One’ are falling dramatically. So will SRK’s ‘Ra.one’ match the collections of Salman’s ‘Bodyguard’ or Aamir’s ‘3 idiots’? We did some number crunching to get you the real picture.
          While Shah Rukh Khan’s magnum opus ‘Ra One’ will end up making a profit in the long run, it now looks like the King Khan will not be beating the records set by Aamir Khan’s ‘3 Idiots’ or Salman Khan’s ‘Bodyguard’.
          It has been stressed that ‘Ra.One’ did set it’s share of records at the box office – which include a 5 day net collection of 96 crore and a single day collection of 23 and a half crore but these figures include collections from the Tamil and Telugu versions of the film.
          Thanks to SRK’s promotioinal efforts ‘Ra.One’ got off to a flying start once it opened on Diwali – however it does seem that negative reviews and word of mouth has dented the film’s collections after the weekend.
          After a high of 17crore on Sunday, Ra.One’s net collections nose-dived to 6.5 crore on Monday and settled at 4crore on Wednesday.
          RA.One collections dive
          Sunday: 17cr
          Monday: 6.5cr
          Wednesday: 4cr
          Rakesh Sharma, Operating Head, Cinemax speaks about dipping collections and if screens are reduced in cinemas. “In terms of gross worldwide collections – Aamir Khan’s ‘3 Idiots’ leads the pack with a total of 375 crore followed by Salman Khan’s Bodyguard at 253 crore. Ra.One’s collections stand at 192 crore as of now and it looks rather impossible that it will be able to beat the other two even in the long run.”
          Bollywood Blockbusters
          3 Idiots: 375cr
          Bodyguard: 253cr
          RA.One: 192cr
          While positive word of mouth kept ‘3 Idiots’ going at the box-office ‘Ra.One’ seems to be losing steam post it’s first week.
          Komal Nahata, Film Trade Analyst speaks on how much the film is expected to collect worldwide and its comaprision of 3 idiots collection.
          “At over 150 crore ‘Ra.One”s cost has also dented it’s profitability since both ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Bodyguard’ were made at half the price of SRK’s magnum opus. Shah Rukh will now be looking forward to ‘Don 2’ to make magic at the box office.”

        • Bodyguard was made at 60 crores whereas Ra one 150 crore. Great return on investment by RA 1 right. Hats of to u. Did u give capitation fee a large amount to enter into the course u r doing or it is your own institution Mr. Asher. Though gross collection of Bodyguard is much more than Ra 1 whole world knows except u.

    • ur father is women beater.that carrer conscious women disrespected salmna.salman said in an interview dat he did not hit any women.ash is a career conscious..it was his bodyguard’s fault not salman’s.agar salman ko pata hota to he wud hav definitely take that topi….salman is the best superstar….go & bloody looser.fan of a arrrogant , sefish & disrespectful man…..

    • If Salman is the bigger star then why does he have a less of a fan following overseas. Why do his films not do that much business abroad as a Shahrukh Khan film does? Why does Newsweek not call Salman one of the most powerful men on the planet? Why does Time, CNN, BBC not call Salman the biggest star on Earth? Why do they shower Shahrukh Khan with praise and ignore Salman Khan. Maybe if I lived in India I would agree with you but I’m sorry I don’t agree with you at all. Plus, I spent money seeing Bodyguard which was terrible and a complete waste of time and I will not watch a Salman Khan film in a theatre because he makes crappy cinema as evidenced by Bodyguard.

      • Ra 1 is the worst movie ever. 2 of my friends were hospitalised as they saw Ra 1. they were having serious headache watching the movie. Shame on SRK and U.

    • Neeraj beta papa ko aise nhi bolte…saale bhool gaya…jab Salman ne tere SRK ko industry main role dilaya…srk unlogo main se hain..jis thaali main khaye usi main ched…Karan jaise hijre hi dost ho sakte hain iske….

  2. Asher Madan is a medical student in
    Washington DC. He is also a fan of Shah
    Rukh Khan and blogs about Bollywood and
    the latest films often on his Google Blog.
    You can reach him via Twitter at @
    ashermadan and also a hypocrite and the owner of @boycott_a_film that targets aamirkhan which he calls gaymir and saliu bhai, i doubt he lives in u.s.a as he claims,he doesnt know salman but has watch bodyguard.Give me a break,,i am a law student in miami who is a salman fan but i dont know srk and have never watch ra.one and i wont even watch it in pirated torrent.

    • You are a complete idiot my friend. And I doubt you’re a law student. If you were you would have better command over the English language and know how to type. Don’t lie and get a life. Also, I know the guy who runs that and he is a Twitter friend of mine. You’re so freaking stupid it’s ridiculous.

  3. now a days its a trend to abuse SRK to get limelight, like in guru movie gurukant desai says if people are abusing you means you are growing very fast ,these srk hatters are scared of what?

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