“Aryan Khan is not a criminal," says Raju Rahikwar, a lookalike of Shah Rukh Khan. Raju, 45, whose real name is Durga Rahikwar, is upset with the arrest of the Bollywood superstar’s son. Aryan was among 8 persons who were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3 in connection with a drug raid on a cruise ship.
In an earlier interview with News18.com, Raju had mentioned that his popularity was heavily dependent on his idol’s relevance. While it was reported that an ed-tech company, BYJU’S, hit pause on advertisements featuring SRK following his son Aryan Khan’s arrest, Raju’s work has also suffered. “For almost a year and a half, I was out of work as there were no events happening due to the coronavirus. Things had just started looking good after the pandemic. I was supposed to be a part of a birthday party on October 10 in Jaipur. A week later I had to attend a social gathering in the same city. But both the events have been cancelled. The organisers told me, ‘people aren’t comfortable with SRK’s current image.’ It’s a matter of time. I am sure Shah Rukh bhai will come out stronger," Raju told us.
He was expecting to pay his children’s “school fees" from these events but now he is looking for alternatives, “I am going to request the school authorities to give time till December," says Raju who started his journey as a lookalike almost two decades back. Calling the superstar his godfather, he adds that whatever he has achieved is due to SRK, “I don’t have any complaints against him. I am ready to sacrifice my work for him. My identity is because of Shah Rukh bhai. Whatever I have today is because I look like him. He is my God. Right now his family is in pain and I can feel the same. I just want Aryan bhai to come back home."
Raju, who is popularly known as Junior SRK, feels that the superstar’s family is targeted, “I don’t understand the reason why Aryan bhai is kept in jail. Also, there are around eight people who are arrested but the only name that they are interested is Aryan Khan just because he is Shah Rukh Khan’s son. They don’t have any proof and clearly, there is something that is not right. They are playing around with Aryan bhai’s future. He is just a kid and deserves a chance. He should be allowed a fair trial."
Raju is not the only one who is out of work due to Aryan’s arrest. Haider Maqbool, who is also a SRK’s doppelganger, is feeling the heat.
Talking to News18.com Haider says, “I was supposed to make a couple of appearances in the next two weeks but everything has been put on hold. I don’t mind it because I credit my success to Shah Rukh bhai and I need to stand with him during his tough time. I am very disappointed with whatever is happening. Shah Rukh bhai is suffering a lot and I just pray that Aryan comes back home soon."