The Kalinga Sena withdrew its threat of throwing ink at Shah Rukh Khan during his visit to Odisha for participating in the opening ceremony of the Men’s Hockey World Cup on Tuesday.
According to the Hindustan Times, the fringe outfit took the decision following an appeal from Hockey India president Mohammed Mushtaque Ahmad.
“We have decided to withdraw our pledge following the request by Hockey India President. Since it is an international event and Shah Rukh Khan is a promoter, we don’t want to protest, as that would give a bad name to Odisha,” Kalinga Sena chief Hemant Rath said.
He, however, said that the people of Odisha had not forgiven Khan for insulting their sentiments and distorting history in his film Asoka that was released 17 years ago. The Kalinga Sena had demanded an apology from Shah Rukh, alleging that the film dishonoured the state’s culture and its people by portraying the Kalinga War in a wrong manner.
Asoka, which was released in 2001, could not run in the theatres in the state for more than seven days due to protests.
Earlier, the Hockey India President, in a letter, appealed to the outfit not to protest against Khan’s visit.
“Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most popular actors of India and is widely known in the hockey community for his support for hockey and movie Chak de India and because of this he has been invited to attend the opening ceremony,” said Ahmad.
“Throwing ink on someone who has been invited as a guest shall bring a bad name to India and will show Odisha in a very poor light in front of all international guests, including the teams,” he added.
Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and musician AR Rahman will perform during the inaugural ceremony of the Men’s Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.