After the death of a policeman in Bulandshahr over alleged cow slaughter earlier this month, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah said he is worried for his children in today’s India.
He said he is worried because he imagines a situation where his children may be surrounded by an angry mob and asked: “Are you Hindu or Muslim?”
“My children will have no answer. It worries me because I don’t see the situation improving anytime soon,” Naseeruddin Shah said.
“I feel worried about my children. They do not have a religion. I had received religious education as a child. Ratna (his wife who is a Hindu) belongs to a liberal household, so she had received none,” he said.
He expressed concerns over how “the death of a cow has more significant than that of a police officer” and how he doesn’t see “the situation improving anytime soon”. “In many areas, we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significant than that of a police officer,” Shah said.
The actor was speaking to Karwan-e-Mohabbat India when he also expressed concerns over the “impunity provided for those who take the law into their hands”. “The poison has already spread and it is difficult to put this jinn back into the bottle. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands,” he said in the two-minute-ten-second video.
Asserting that the current situation “makes me angry”, he said, “I want every right-thinking person to feel angry and not scared. This is our home. Who can dare to evict us from here?” he said.
Expectedly, sharp reactions came in from political quarters to Naseeruddin Shah’s comments.
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant called Naseeruddin’s statement “a blunder” and said that he “deplores” the actor’s comments.
“If his kids are caught in a mob they should say they are Hindustani (Indians) Why are they scared?” Sawant questioned
Rajya Sabha MP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Rakesh Sinha too reacted to Naseeruddin Shah’s comments.
“Nasiruddin Shah [sic] should first ask Rohingyas to leave Hindustan as according to him India is unsafe for him and his family,” Sinha said in a tweet before suggesting that Shah was becoming part of a “sinister design of anti cil [civil] society propaganda”.
“His statement shows his low thinking,” Sinha also said.
His comments have also drawn sharp reactions on Twitter.