Several social media users have shared a newspaper clipping on Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan with a caption that raises doubts on the Khan's father Meer Taj Mohammad Khan's participation in India's freedom struggle.
The claims say that, according to the clipping, Shah Rukh Khan's father would have been six-years-old during the Quit India movement and hence, his involvement in the freedom struggle was insignificant.
However, we went through the news clipping and contrary to the claim, it said that Meer was 16-years-old when he joined the Quit India movement and was known as one of the youngest freedom fighters in the country.
We also checked Shah Rukh's old tweets, according to which Meer Taj was born in 1927. This confirms that the fact that he could not have been six-years-old when the Quit India movement started.
The caption shared with the newspaper clipping said, "शाहरुख 1965 में पैदा हुआ.. भारत छोड़ो आंदोलन 1942 में हुआ.. इस पत्रिका के अनुसार जब वो पैदा हुआ तब इसके अब्बू की उम्र 30 साल थी.. यानी कि 1942 में इसके अब्बू 6 साल के रहे होंगे। अब 6 साल की उम्र में शाहरुख खान के पिता भारत छोड़ो आंदोलन में क्या उखाड़ रहे थे, ज़रा यह सोचिए?"
[Translation: Shahrukh was born in 1965. Quit India movement started in 1942. According to this magazine, when he was born, his father was 30-years-old. That means in 1942 his father would have been six years old. Can you imagine what a six-year-old would have done during the Quit India movement?]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a reverse image search of the newspaper clipping along with a keyword search for the headline and found a clearer version of the clipping uploaded by the author of the article, Affan Nomani, on his Facebook page.
The article didn't say that Meer Taj was 30-years-old when Shah Rukh was born in 1965. The inference that Meer Taj would have been six-years-old during the Quit India movement was drawn from statement that didn't exist in the article.
While talking about Meer Taj, Nomani wrote, "पेशावर में जन्मे मीर ताज मोहम्मद खान ने 16 साल के उम्र में विभाजन से पहले पेशावर छोड़ कर दिल्ली आ गए. खान अब्दुल गफ्फार खान के आंदोलन से जुड़कर जंगे आज़ादी में भाग ले लिया."
[Translation: Born in Peshawar, Mir Taj Mohammad Khan left Peshawar before partition at the age of 16 and moved to Delhi. He joined the independence movement and started following Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.]
In 2014, Shah Rukh tweeted about his father and said that his father would have been 87-years-old had he been alive.
Based on that information, his father would have been born in 1927 and that would make him 15-16 years old when the Quit India movement began in 1942.
Shah Rukh has also talked about his father's involvement in India's freedom struggle in the past and it also finds a mention in Shah Rukh Khan's biography - 'King of Bollywood' - written by film critic and journalist Anupama Chopra.
"Meer’s elder brother Gamma was a respected political leader. He was a tireless worker organizing anti-British protests and rallies. Meer himself was an in-demand orator — his fiery speeches in Urdu attracted as much attention as his dashing movie star looks. In August 1942, the Congress Party launched the Quit India movement, which demanded the immediate end of British rule. The party called for non-violence, but when the government arrested most of the Congress leaders including Nehru and Gandhi, the agitation turned aggressive. Bombs exploded, government buildings were set on fire, and there were mass arrests. Almost a thousand people were killed and 60,000 arrested. Among these were Meer and Gamma."An excerpt from Anupama Chopra's 'King of Bollywood'
Evidently, an article on Shah Rukh was misrepresented to make false claims about his father Meer Taj and question his involvement in India' freedom struggle.
(The story was first debunked by India Today.)