January 21, 2020: Actor Saif Ali Khan, who is in the eye of a storm after his recent remarks on Indian history, faced yet another attack, this time from BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi who called out the actor for his son’s name.
Khan, while responding to a question in an interview on his latest movie ’Tanhaji’ — the story of a 17th-century Maharashtrian military leader — had said, "I don’t think this is history. I don’t think there was a concept of India till the British gave it one."
His remarks earned him the ire of Twitter as well as Lekhi, who said: “Even Turks find Taimur a brute! But some people choose to name their children Taimur.”
The name of Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi, born in December 2016 to Khan and wife Kareena Kapoor, has been the target of Right-wing leaders and trolls.
Asked if he was named after Timur, the 13th century invader who massacred Delhi after an attack in 1398, Khan had said in 2017 that he and Kapoor “loved the sound of the name and its meaning”. “I am aware of the heritage of the Turkish ruler — he was Timur, my son is Taimur, an ancient Persian name that means iron,” Khan had told Mumbai Mirror newspaper.
The actor later admitted that he had given a thought to changing his son’s name, two months after his birth, to something non-controversial in view of the brickbats they received.
Lekhi had recently also slammed Microsoft chief Satya Nadella for voicing his concerns about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). "How (the) literate need to be educated! Perfect example. Precise reason for CAA is to grant opportunities to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan," she tweeted, and accused the US government of discrimination against Syrian Muslims.