17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Irrfan: "Won't enter US if I'm stopped at border. It's humilitating."

Life of Pi star Irrfan Khan says he will refuse to travel to the United States if he is detained by US immigration again.

Khan, 46, told Indian talk show host Rajat Sharma, he had been stopped "several times" at numerous US airports, including Los Angeles and New York and has described the experiences as "humiliating".  

"They don’t even disclose the reason,” Khan says.

“I don’t use my surname in films, but in passports, surname and religion are required. I was stopped not once, but several times at airports in the US."

“Once I told the immigration people, why do you issue visas, if you don’t want to give us entry, and the man scowled at me saying –Are you threatening me?”

Khan is one of the most recognizable Indian stars in Hollywood, having appeared in The Mighty Heart, Slumdog Millionaire, the Amazing Spider Man, Life of Pi as well as the hit HBO series In Treatment.

His name and religion however, has proved to be irksome at the US Border, as it has done with a number of other well-known Indian Muslims; most notably Shah Rukh Khan and former president APJ Abdul Kalam.

The actor, who is currently starring in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, says he is tired of wondering whether he will be hauled into an interview room every time he travels to the US, a journey he has made with greater frequency in recent years as his fame and stature in the west has grown.

“The policemen with big guns just take you to a room and ask you to sit. they don’t allow you to speak to anybody, nor use cellphones. And after long waits, they come and simply say –’Go, please go’," Khan says.

“So now, I have told my hosts clearly that if I am stopped at an airport again, I will just buy a ticket and return to India."

- Poonam Joshi

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