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Ultimate Bollywood » Bollywood Features » 2012
Kamal Hassan Proud of His Muslim Name
There has been a lot of buzz about Shahrukh Khan being detained in New York for his 'Khan' surname. Kamal Hassan has a lot to say on the issue as he has been in a similar situation. Read on for Kamal's common sense, beautiful words.

Kamal Hassan Proud of His Muslim Name

The news broke and spread like wildfire when actor Shahrukh Khan was detained in New York. While some were outraged that their favorite star was not treated with respect, others can relate to the situation due to their 'Muslim' names. Actor and director Kamal Hassan is just one of those who could relate, and now he is speaking up on the issue.

Kamal Hassan, not a Muslim, has quite the Islamic name. He is proud of his name and is even talking about changing the spelling to Qamal Haasan so it is pronounced correctly. He also says that the spelling change is, "Just to show a sense of solidarity with my Muslim brothers, including Shahrukh whom I am very fond of. It doesn't matter whether I am really Muslim or not. If I have to suffer for my name I'm willing to do so." These comments also followed after it was mentioned that actor Irrfan Khan has dropped the "Khan" as he stays busy in Hollywood.

Talking more about his name, Kamal says, "My father did a very mischievous thing, maybe because I was born when he was 50, and by then he had developed a sense of humor about human quirks and contradictions. He gave me a Muslim-sounding name. And the ambiguity of my name does confuse the Americans. I enjoy that. My father too enjoyed the ambivalence. In fact he was keen that I spell my name 'Kamal' with 'Q' in a very Islamic way. I had almost listened to him. Then I backtracked. But I feel I should go for it. While he was alive he would often ask me if I was mistaken for a Muslim."

While this conversation began with SRK's treatment in America, Kamal recognizes that these issues are prevalent in other countries as well, "Talk to an Afghani who comes to visit India. Afghani students can't get rooms to stay in India. There's resistance to Afghani passports in India. And why are we so touchy about American treatment? They've a 9/11 to caution them. With 9/11 Australia is hostile to Indians. India should stop acting paranoid about racial profiling."

While Kamal's words are powerful, he ends on a note, which leaves many thinking. He says, "I'm ready to change my name from Kamal to Qamal. I'm often mistaken for a Muslim and I don't correct the misconception. My brothers Charu Haasan and Chandra Haasan don't have to face this. Please remember the fabric of our nation is woven with saffron, white and green. We can't pull out any of the colors. We have to co-exist. The crusades are over."

Do you think Kamal Hasan is stirring up trouble with his comments or is he working towards peace?

Tags: shahrukh khan, detained, kamal hasan, my name is khan







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