Shahrukh Khan was born and raised in New Delhi, India.

Khan was raised a Muslim and still considers himself one, saying:

I’m not religious in terms of reading namaz [prayer] five times but I am Islamic. I believe in the tenets of Islam and I believe that it’s a good religion and a good discipline.1

I imagine such a statement would be blasphemous to many devout Muslims who think Islam must be central in one’s life if they are going to call themselves a Muslim. But Khan keeps an open mind toward religion, as is evident in his family life. Khan married a Hindu woman and their children are raised to know and respect both religions. His house contains both Hindu idols and a Koran. Khan says that, above all, the “children should know about the value of God.”2

As perhaps India’s biggest Bollywood star, Khan is a spokesperson of sorts for both of India’s major religions. He worries about violence and terrorism that still occurs to this day between Muslims and Hindus. But he tends to defend Islam, saying these attackers are not true Muslims and that they misinterpret this “religion of peace.”3

Movie star politics

It is not uncommon for big name Bollywood stars to segue into politics. As they become household names, it is easy for them to attract voters in the world’s biggest democratic nation. But Khan doesn’t want to be a part of any of it. He says:

A professional politician has to be selfless. You should be happy with your life so that they can work for people. I am not selfless. Also, I don”t know politics.4

But when pressed, he adds:

I might join politics at the age of 127 – when probably you guys are old and I am still young.5

All joking aside, Khan does seem to care about various social issues in India, particularly helping to build India’s green energy infrastructure. Between 2009 and 2012, Khan “adopted” 36 Indian villages for the NDTV Greenathon event, meaning he single-handedly paid for these villages to be wired for solar power.67

If he were American, this would probably put him squarely in the liberal category. For the rest of the world, however, it’s just common sense.

  1. They call him King Khan. Meet Bollywood’s biggest star. The Guardian. []
  2. Who’s the real Shah Rukh Khan? BBC News. []
  3. They call him King Khan. Meet Bollywood’s biggest star. The Guardian. []
  4. Shahrukh Khan says he is not interested in politics. One India. []
  5. Finally Shah Rukh Khan To Join Politics. Silicon India. []
  6. SRK lights up five villages. NDTV. []
  7. SRK, Priyanka adopt villages. Hindustan Times. []