In what can be deemed a shocking and disgraceful display of First-World arrogance, the prestigious Producers Guild Of America(PGA) ‘honoured’ Irrfan Khan in its ‘In Memoriam’ section. But the honour was hardly honourable, as the PGA misspelt Irrfan’s name as ‘Irrif Kahn’ sparking off a wave of outrage among the last actor’s fans.
Irrfan’s wife the writer Sutapa Sarkar and his two sons are unlikely to feel honoured on Irrfan’s behalf.If they can’t even spell the actor’s name properly how can they honour him?
Interestingly this minor snub(minor when seen in the light of the actor’s achievements) to the great actor’s reputation comes a day after Rana Daggubati(have I got the spelling right?!) pulled up Filmfare for misspelling his name.
Incidentally Irrfan had dropped the ‘Khan’ from his name many years ago when it was subjected to repeated scrutiny at American airports.
Irrfan dropped his surname after being subjected to Islamophobic surveillance in the US. He told me, “It happened to me on two occasions. I was detained in New York and Los Angeles airport for secondary interrogation. I was outraged. I was told to quietly come into a room for questioning and identification verification. I wasn’t allowed to talk. When I tried to ask why I was being treated this way, I was told to keep quiet. I wasn’t allowed to use my phone. They said, ‘No, you just sit down.’ All because my name was Irrfan Khan. You can’t argue or rationalize.” Surname or no name, Irrfan remained the most talented Khan in Bollywood.