Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s latest visit to Turkey for the shooting of his upcoming movie ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ has raised several eyebrows. Amidst the straining relationship between India and Turkey following the Turkish authoritarian ruler Recep Tayip Erdogan’s unwarranted comments on Jammu and Kashmir and his overt support to the Pakistani propaganda on the Indian Union Territory, Khan on Sunday met Turkish First Lady drawing ire of netizens.
Aamir Khan’s charm-offensive of Islamic dictators in Turkey sparks emergence of old reports
With Aamir Khan choosing to turn a blind eye to Erdogan’s hostile remarks for India and his marked shift towards a more primordial version of Islam, most notably with the reversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, social media websites are replete with posts that allude that Khan shares the same zeal for religion as is lately manifested by Turkey’s authoritarian President.
While the articles of alleged interview are old, they have popped up many times and are back on the social media once again, in the wake of Khan’s inexplicable charm-offensive for the Turkey’s ruling regime. Khan had evidently finished the shooting of his movie early and paid a visit to Turkey’s first lady Emine Erdogan that had triggered netizens to draw a similarity between Aamir Khan’s adherence to Islam and Turkey’s totalitarian president Recep Erdogan’s recent descent into medievalist version of Islam.
Aamir Khan had claimed that he would raise his children from Hindu wives as devout Muslims
The alleged interview which is doing the rounds on the Internet said that Khan belongs to a “staunch, conservative and orthodox Muslim family” who traced their origins back to Peshawar. The article quoted Aamir Khan as to saying that though his wives are Hindus, he would raise his kids as Muslims only.
We tried to find the primary source of the article to establish the authenticity of the assertions made by Aamir Khan. One of the most cited sources were from an article on Santa Banta, which now seems to be deleted.
Here is an archive link of the article that alleged that Khan had been particularly uncompromising over the choice of faith adhered by his offspring.
While the article was removed from Santa Banta, the same interview is still carried by another website named “The Siasat Daily”, a website whose articles are frequently cited by scores of journalists and is a known “Muslim publication”. But the article attributes Aamir Khan’s quotes to “news agencies”.
There are other websites too, who have carried the remarks made by Aamir Khan about raising up his children as Muslims but ‘Santa Banta’ and ‘The Siasat Daily’ seem to be the only two websites that are well known.
In fact, ‘The Siasat Daily’ is not just quoted by journalists but also by official Twitter handles of the various Congress units, lending an air of legitimacy to the website.
Various verified accounts provide legitimacy to publications such as ‘The Siasat Daily’
The official Twitter account of Telangana Congress had recently cited a report published on ‘The Siasat Daily’ to mount an attack against the incumbent KCR government in the state. Quoting the report, Telangana Congress alleged that the KCR government had failed to control coronavirus, provide proper medical facilities to the patients and curb unemployment during the pandemic.
KCR Govt Failed To— Telangana Congress (@INCTelangana) August 13, 2020
👉Provide proper medical facilities to corona patients in govt hospitals
👉Curb unemployment during this pandemic
KCR also failed to deliver on his promise of ₹ 3016 unemployment allowance to the youth of Telangana !https://t.co/T2gFzqtoNq
Other than that, various pro-Islamist handles have also been regularly sharing Siasat Daily posts.
A new hate tracker documents all hate crimes carried out against India’s 200 million Muslims.https://t.co/mbkECuPNb0— IndianAmericanMuslimCouncil (@IAMCouncil) August 14, 2020
UAE Embassy in India too has shared links of Siasat Daily.
Negating the stereotype that Muslim women are the most suppressed,— Indian Muslimahs (@IndianMuslimahs) August 17, 2020
"Incidentally, 50% literacy rates among Muslim women are not very much below 53% Hindu Women,"
– Christopher Jaffrelot,
a French Political Scientist specializing in South Asia–India.https://t.co/km2CuXwMKq
India Today employee Rajdeep Sardesai has also in the past shared Siasat Daily links.
"राम मंदिर" ट्रस्ट के अध्यक्ष नृत्य गोपाल दास कोरोना पॉजिटिव…https://t.co/12kcP8l4C8— काकावाणी 2.0 (@007AliSohrab) August 13, 2020
Did any pseudo national channel debate this last week?No outrage? No hashtags? And here it was acquittal, not bail!! https://t.co/MNUAG9lgG1— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 22, 2017
Tough to determine if Aamir Khan actually made the claims
It is difficult to ascertain the veracity of the claims made by these websites as Santa Banta has deleted the article and ‘The Siasat Daily’ chalks up undisclosed news sources to assert that Khan made such comments about bringing up children as Muslims.
Earlier, Aamir Khan had been particularly unsparing against articles that have misquoted him or have ascribed fake remarks to him. Aamir Khan had sent a legal notice to various Pakistan websites for carrying a fake news during the release of his movie PK.
The emergence of fake interviews or misquoted assertions are not particularly new phenomenons that have been employed by journalists to create sensationalism. Earlier too, the journalism in India had been tainted with fake stories and interviews, most notably the fake interview of former Finance Minister of India, George Fernandes, by a troll masquerading as journalist Swati Chaturvedi.
We tried to find out if Aamir Khan similarly might have sent legal notice to The Siasat Daily for this particular interview, but we couldn’t find out any such report