It was a real-life role Bollywood superstar Salman Khan played on Tuesday with as much aplomb as he has ever done in reel life. But it raised more heat for its possible political overtones than celluloid implications.
At a popular function in Ahmedabad, the key city of western state of Gujarat, Khan flew kites with chief minister Narendra Modi and had lunch with him but declined to be drawn into endorsing the BJP leader as the next prime minister of India.
Salman Khan, who was in Ahmedabad to promote his upcoming film “Jai Ho”, had accepted an invitation from Modi's office to participate in the Uttarayan festival, fly kites and have lunch.
Following persistent media queries about whether he backed Modi as next prime minister, Salman Khan said “I belong to the film line. I can clearly answer questions on films. On politics, because of my limited knowledge, I will not be able to give clear answers. If I begin answering your questions, I will get trapped.”
Asked pointedly whom he wanted to see as Indian PM in next elections, Khan responded very carefully “the best man for India to be prime minister”.
But Khan did commend the development work undertaken by Modi government in Gujarat and described the chief minister as a “great man”.
Modi used social media Twitter to publicise his kite flying with Khan in four separate posts, including two photographs, in three hours on Tuesday.
Two other Khans of Bollywood — Shah Rukh and Aamir — appear to have different political leanings. While Shah Rukh is considered close to ruling Congress party, Aamir recently went on record as praising rookie Aam Admi Party which came to power in India's capital headed by Arvind Kejriwal.
However, none of the three Khans has so far openly endorsed any individual or party but merely given for word-based indications.
To sum up, one is left guessing whether it was mere kite flying for Modi's bigger political role in India or the future of Salman Khan's yet-to-be-released movie.