Episode 17: Eram Agha

Caravan Baatcheet: Shah Rukh Khan’s nationalism

Elections 2024
06 February, 2023

The Caravan Baatcheet is a Hindi talk show featuring engaging discussions on politics, culture and society. Every fortnight, our host Vishnu Sharma will be in conversation with journalists, writers, experts and observers on pivotal issues that matter to you.

In this episode of The Caravan Baatcheet, host Vishnu Sharma talks to The Caravan’s reporting fellow Eram Agha about our January 2023 cover story on the Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. Agha discusses the importance of understanding Shah Rukh Khan today, his stardom, the challenges he faced and the reasons behind his success.

Agha said that she had initially set out to understand the pull of “brand Shah Rukh Khan,” and to figure out how the actor has maintained his superstardom for over 30 years. However, over the course of her reporting, she was made aware of another side of the romantic hero. “It is not as if he became ‘Raj’ and ruled the hearts of people. He has also proved his love for the country through his films,” Agha says, adding that Khan had made nationalist films even before it was a trend to do so. “Shah Rukh’s identity is that of a secular and cosmopolitan Muslim,” Agha continues. “He won’t let anyone define him; as a Muslim, as an Indian Muslim or as anything.” Citing media scholar Jyotika Virdi, Agha says that Khan is a “living example of Nehruvian secularism.”


कारवां बातचीत हिंदी टॉक शो है जिसमें राजनीति, संस्कृति और समाज से जुड़े महत्वपूर्ण मुद्दों पर होस्ट विष्णु शर्मा हर पखवाड़े पत्रकारों, लेखकों, विशेषज्ञों और संपादकों से बातचीत करते हैं.

कारवां बातचीत के इस एपिसोड में कारवां की रिपोर्टर इरम आग़ा से बॉलीवुड अभिनेता शाहरुख खान पर बातचीत. कारवां पत्रिका ने साल 2023 के अपने पहले अंक में शाहरुख खान को कवर पर जगह दी है. इरम ने अपनी कवर स्टोरी में सुपरस्टार के राष्ट्रवाद पर विस्तार से लिखा है. उनका कहना है कि खान नेहरू परंपरा की धर्मनिरपेक्षता के मानने वाले हैं. उनका राष्ट्रवाद संकीर्ण नहीं है बल्कि समावेशी राष्ट्रवाद है. इसके अलावा इरम ने शाहरुख खान के स्टारडम, उनके सामने आई चुनौतियां और उनकी सफलता की वजह पर भी लंबी बात की.