Actor Naseeruddin Shah has skipped the Ajmer Literature Festival after his controversial statements created a stir in mainstream and social media. As per reports, members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and other groups have held protests against him in Ajmer.
The BJYM and other right-wing organisations had staged a protest and shouted slogans at the LitFest venue against Naseeruddin Shah, demanding his apology for his remark. Protestors had also reportedly burnt posters of the event with Shah’s pictures.
Naseeruddin Shah, in a TV interview earlier this week had remarked that the death of cows was being given more importance than the death of a policeman.
People on Twitter too had called out at the veteran actor for his contentious remark.
Naseeruddin Shah has been doing full-on identity politics himself, but when the other side gets down to identity politics, he smells fear and intolerance.
He doesn’t think twice before tainting his own nation which has loved him so much, given him so much fame
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) December 21, 2018
Let Naseeruddin Shah name ONE Islamic country which gives even fraction of rights to non Muslims that India guarantees to non Hindus.Or name ONE Islamic country where diverse Islamic sects co exist peacefully, as they do in India. Their real grouse: Hindus still survive on planet https://t.co/t92kLEWcsw
— MadhuPurnima Kishwar (@madhukishwar) December 20, 2018
Amongst this severe backlash, Amit Jani, president of the Navnirman Sena, booked Shah a one-way ticket to Pakistan, while, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Mahendranath Pandey likened him to a character he had played in the 1999 movie ‘Sarfarosh’.
“Naseeruddin Shah is a good artist. In one of his movies, he played the role of a Pakistani agent. I think he is growing into that character now,” Pandey had said.
Naseeruddin Shah left Ajmer after attending a program at his old school in the afternoon. Defending his remarks today, Naseeruddin Shah had said that he spoke as a “worried Indian” who has every right to express concerns about the country he loves.
Speaking to media persons after attending an event at his alma mater, St Anselm’s Senior Secondary School, the actor said, “I have said this before too, but I don’t know why this time I am being labelled as a traitor. It is very strange.”
Naseeruddin Shah had referred to the Bulandshahr incident where a policeman was killed by a violent mob after people took to streets protesting against police inaction over rampant cow slaughter in the area. He had stated that he is fearful for his children in India.