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UK denies visa to Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, day after Shah Rukh Khan’s US embarrassment

NEW DELHI: After the US, it now seems to be the turn of the UK to deliver a snub to an Indian celebrity. Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan on Friday took to social media to express shock at having his visa application to the UK rejected. His tweets expressing disappointment come a day after another Indian celebrity, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, was detained at the Los Angeles airport.

Amjad Khan

Amjad Ali Khan’s visa applications had been aimed at getting him to the UK for a performance at the Royal Festival Hall in September. In a series of tweets, the sarod maestro also tagged Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Indian High Commission in London and the British High Commission in New Delhi.

Amjad Ali Khan was scheduled to take part in a reflection of his decades-long career as one of the icons of the sarod on September 17. On September 18, he was scheduled to be part of a double-bill concert, sharing the bill with Hindustani classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal.

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Both events are being organized by the Southbank Centre as part of Darbar Festival 2016, which aims to showcase contemporary greats of Indian classical musical traditions. Both the events were scheduled to take place at the Royal Festival Hall on the banks of the Thames in London.

The snub to the sarod maestro comes a day after apparent shabby treatment meted out to another Indian celebrity – Shah Rukh Khan. The Bollywood Badshah had been detained at the Los Angeles airport.
In no way the first time this is happening, Shah Rukh tweeted his disappointment with the number of times he has been detained upon landing in the US. This had triggered apologetic tweets from two top US officials – US Ambassador to India Rich Verma and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Neha Biswal.
Both Verma and Biswal said steps would be taken to ensure greater care to avoid detaining Shah Rukh in the future, to which the actor responded saying he did not want to be above protocol in any way, but was tired of the number of times this had happened.
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