Will Aryan Khan's controversy lead to more stars sending their kids to study abroad?

Aamir Khan’s words in 2015 about the safety of his children now reverberate across the entertainment industry, thanks to the Aryan Khan case.

Subhash K Jha January 12, 2022 09:30:37 IST
Will Aryan Khan's controversy lead to more stars sending their kids to study abroad?

Aryan Khan

Star kids are a breed under attack. Or so Bollywood’s parents seem to believe. After Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan  was arrested on charges of narcotics consumption on Gandhi Jayanti last year, parents of star children have begun to do an auto-rethink on their wards’ future.

Is it safe for star kids to stay in India? No seems to be the current answer.

A star-parent, whose son was launched with much fanfare last year (and who is not a Muslim), admitted  things do not look good for star children in this country. “And I mean privileged children from any walk of life, why just the  entertainment industry? But yes, more eyes are focused on celebrities from the glamour industry. Our children are more vulnerable than children of entrepreneurs and politicians because we are more loved by people.”

This star-father admitted he would have had second thoughts about a career for his son in Bollywood if the Aryan episode had happened earlier.

Parents in Bollywood are seriously thinking of packing off their children to ‘safer’ places. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s two children are now being schooled in Dubai. Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s two children, Taimur and Jehangir, will attend boarding school in England just like their father and two aunts (Saba and Soha Ali Khan).

Aamir Khan’s words in 2015 about the safety of his children now reverberate across the entertainment industry.

At a summit, Aamir had said, "When I chat with Kiran (Rao, then-wife) at home, she says ‘Should we move out of India?’ That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. People who are our elected representatives, people who we select to look after us for five years, state or centre, when people take law into their hands, we look upon these people to take a strong stance, to make a strong statement, speed up the legal process, when we see that happening, there is a sense of security but when we don’t see that happening, there is a sense of insecurity.”

Unlike many self(ie)made stars of Bollywood, SRK’s son made news in 2021 for no fault of his. Without trying, Aryan became the most talked-about Khan of the year in the entertainment industry, when on 2 October, 2020, he was arrested for possession/consumption (or whatever) of drugs.

During the month that he spent behind bars, Aryan became the poster-boy of privileged persecution.

No one knows why he was arrested or denied bail repeatedly. The Kafkaesque twist to the tale of persecution and  imprisonment made Aryan the most sensational aspiring star of Bollywood. The boy received offers from Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala, and Ashutosh Gowariker.

But it seems his judicious father now has other plans for his son. A friend of the superstar reveals, “Aryan wanted to be a filmmaker. He still does. However, his father is not in favour of letting either of his children be part of the  entertainment industry, not after what Aryan has gone through.”

Sources close to SRK reveal he feels his family was targeted only for who he is. “Shah Rukh is not speaking about it on any public platform. But he is most definitely wary of his children’s interest in showbusiness. His daughter Suhana is making her debut as an actress in Zoya Akhtar’s adaptation of the Archies comics. Shah Rukh can’t and won’t reverse that process. But he can and will restrain his son from being part of the entertainment world,” says a close friend of the Khans.

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based journalist. He has been writing about Bollywood for long enough to know the industry inside out.

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