Legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away on Sunday at the age of 92 and was given a state funeral by the Indian government. Music lovers from across the globe paid tributes for the “nightingale of India”. It is said that music transcends borders, which was proved by the condolence messages for Lata and shows how loved she was across the border in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted, “With the death of Lata Mangeshkar the subcontinent has lost one of the truly great singers the world has known.” Pakistani politicians, sportspersons, journalists, actors, artists, and people from across the country posted condolence messages on social media platforms. Pakistani state-owned broadcaster PTV and other television channels played Lata’s songs and paid rich tributes to the melody queen.

Thus, it was extremely disappointing but not surprising to see the hate campaign against Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan after he went to Lata’s funeral yesterday and paid respect to the departed soul by saying a prayer for her and blowing the dua (prayer) in the air near her body, a custom that many Muslims around the world follow. The anti-Muslim, Islamophobic propaganda campaign against SRK was started by leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


BJP’s Arun Yadav was the first to tweet a video of SRK at the funeral, blowing a prayer in the wind with the misleading and hateful caption: “Kya isnay thooka hai?” (Did he spit?)

Soon after Yadav, another BJP leader Prashant Umrao tweeted: “Shahrukh is Spitting!” while he quote-tweeted another anti-Muslim tweet against the Bollywood star. These tweets led to many BJP-affiliated accounts and Hindutva trolls abusing and spreading false information about Shah Rukh’s actions at Lata Mangeshkar’s funeral on Sunday.

Many rightly called out the BJP leaders as well as their followers for starting an evil campaign against SRK just because of his faith. Minorities in India, especially Muslims, have been facing the worst persecution and injustice under the Modi government. Such misleading campaigns are nothing new under the BJP regime. When the coronavirus pandemic started in India, the Modi government and its mouthpieces in the Indian media falsely blamed the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi for being a super-spreader event, which was later rubbished by Indian courts. Such misleading, false, and ‘communal reporting’ has become a norm in India now.

Therefore, it was not surprising to see the false and malicious attacks against a superstar of Shah Rukh’s stature just because he is a Muslim. A Muslim artist saying a prayer for a Hindu singer at her funeral could be communalised to such an extent that some people would actually think that SRK would spit on Lata’s body is unimaginable. It just goes on to show how India under Modi has become extremely communal and uninhabitable for minorities. The Saffronisation of India seems to be complete.