Bollywood’s veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah blasted at the BJP government and its Bollywood loyalists for its discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act in an interview with, The Wire.
He expressed his angst over the rising communalism and religious extremism in India that intensified after the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Naseeruddin Shah said it is not surprising that PM Modi has no empathy or compassion towards students. He said the limited intellectual capacity of the PM, who admits of not pursuing education, has plunged India into social chaos
In his succinct interview, he outrightly repudiated the new conditions set by the BJP government for non-Hindu citizens to prove their Indian citizenship.
Shah, a hardcore critic of BJP’s divisive politics, said he is not afraid or anxious but angry at BJP for pitching an unfair CAA.
“If living 70 years here and doing whatever I could, does not prove me to be in India, I don’t know what does,” said furious Shah.
— Sanatan ॐ Sanjeev 🚩जय श्री राम 🚩 (@SanatanSanjeev) January 23, 2020
Shah raised a pertinent question that why his national Identity Card, driver’s license, voting ID are not enough to prove his citizenship.
He said “I don’t have a birth certificate. I cannot produce one. Does that mean we are all going to be excluded? I do not need any re-assurances that Muslims don’t need to be worried. I am not worried.”
Shah expressed his bewilderment on the silence of Bollywood’s bigwigs and their silent support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said absurd defenses are put to back CAA. Moreover, the malicious contempt and assault towards protesting students hurts him the most, said a 69-year-old actor.
Naseeruddin Shah, articulates his anger clearly and unapologetically, while speaking on the CAA and NRC, on the violence against students and how he is being made to feel his Muslim identity. Don't also miss his remarkable understanding of speaking to the camera. https://t.co/F6SL6fuof3
— Sidharth Bhatia (@bombaywallah) January 22, 2020
In response to the question of why there were extremely repressive actions against the students of Jamia Milia University, Aligarh Muslim University and Jawahar Lal Nehru Univeristy by the government, he said perhaps people who have never been to schools nor had intellectual pursuits would consider intellectuals and students as pests.
Naseeruddin Shah said it is not surprising that PM Modi has no empathy or compassion towards students. He said the limited intellectual capacity of the PM, who admits of not pursuing education, has plunged India into social chaos.
He expressed bewilderment on an amazing turnaround of the Delhi Police accusing injured students in the face of backlash despite documentary evidence showing not a single student initiated attacks on them.
He criticized the threats from people of the ruling dispensation that they would shoot or bury alive anti-CAA protestors. Naseeruddin Shah asked if criticizing PM Modi or ruling party is tantamount to blasphemy.
He expressed anguish over the silence of Bollywood’s bigwigs on the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially on CAA. But he lauded Deepika Padukone for stepping out to support the anti-CAA protesting students. He said, like other Bollywood celebrities, Padukone too, had so much to lose but she risked everything.
"I don't think @AnupamPKher needs to be taken seriously.
— The Wire (@thewire_in) January 22, 2020
“The rise of India’s young against the current dispensation is amazing. Even in the film industry, the younger actors and directors have risen against this law, Shah said.
Adding that, “Let us see how she takes this. She’ll lose a few endorsements, sure. Will that impoverish her? Will that lessen her popularity? Will that make her less beautiful than she is? They’re going to come around sooner or later. The only god that the film industry worships is money”.
— shagufta kalim (@shaguftakalim) January 23, 2020
Reckless Jibe at Anupam Kher
In his diatribe against Anupam Kher-a Bollywood actor and BJP loyalist, Naseeruddin Shah he does not need to be taken seriously and called him ‘clown’ and ‘sycopanth’.
“Someone like Anupam Kher has been very vocal. I don’t think he needs to be taken seriously. He’s a clown. Any number of his contemporaries from NSD and FTII can attest to his sycophantic nature. It’s in his blood, he can’t help it”, said Shah in his explosive tirade against Kher.
Some appreciated Naseeruddin Shah for his reckless take on India’s national politics while others denigrated him as a redundant actor
Naseeruddin Shah’s succinct and aggressive takedown of BJP and sharp criticism of Anupam Kher have thrust Indian social media users into haywire.
An aggressive debate picked up on the credibility of both the actors.
Some appreciated Naseeruddin Shah for his reckless take on India’s national politics while others denigrated him as a redundant actor.
Anupam Kher also posted his rebuttal video following criticism of Naseeruddin Shah. He does not take him or his thoughts seriously retorted Kher.
He, however, added that he is still a well-wisher of Shah and thanked him for bringing him in the headlines through his statements.