Is Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan “anti-India”? The question might seem incredible – even ridiculous. However, India’s new political culture of social media mobilisation is trying to push the bounds of common sense in order to sell the idea that Khan, one of India’s biggest movie stars, is somehow a traitor to India.

The trigger was innocuous enough. Aamir Khan had met the First Lady of Turkey, Emine Erdoğan on August 15 while shooting for a film in the country. The fact was, in fact, tweeted out by Erdoğan herself, speaking of Khan as a “world-renowned Indian actor, filmmaker and director”.

This was soon commented upon by none other than India’s ambassador to Turkey, Sanjay Panda, who called it a “special moment”. “First Lady H.E. Emine Erdogan receives India’s Cultural Ambassador and one of our finest exponents of meaningful cinema Aamir Khan on a location scouting trip to Turkey for his latest film Laal Singh Chhadha,” tweeted out Panda.

However, so powerful and politically biased are India’s social media mobs that an issue doesn’t really need to be outrageous to spark outrage. For much of Monday, Khan was attacked viciously by popular handles with close links to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.



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