Responding to the recent genocidal calls by Hindu monks and Hindutva leaders against Muslims, actor Naseeruddin Shah has said that “it is starting from the very top where Aurangzeb is being invoked.”
The veteran actor was speaking about prime minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that “whenever an Aurangzeb invades, a Shivaji rises” while launching the incomplete Kashi Vishwanath corridor project on December 13. Without naming PM Modi, Shah said: “What is happening here is a concerted attempt to make Muslims feel insecure. It is starting from the very top where Aurangzeb is being invoked…. Separatism has become a policy for the ruling party.”
Shah was speaking to The Wire.
When asked about PM Modi’s silence over genocidal calls against Muslims, Shah went on to say: “I think he doesn’t care. He genuinely doesn’t care. At least you can’t accuse him of being a hypocrite in that sense… He said never a word of apology for the Ahmedabad pogrom. He never said a word of apology for anything else. He did half-heartedly apologise for the Kisan…but it wasn’t a sincere apology… in fact he follows these people ( people who delivered hate speeches) on Twitter. And obviously why he does that? It’s only to him..but he obviously derives some sort of pleasure out of that…”
Two-hundred million of us belong here
Responding to the Haridwar hate assembly, Shah told The Wire’s Karan Thapar: “I wonder if these people know what they are talking about. What they are calling for is a full-scale civil war. Two-hundred million of us are not going to get wiped out that easily. Two-hundred million of us are going to fight back. Two-hundred million of us claim this to be our motherland. Two-hundred million of us belong here; we were born here, generations of our families have lived here and died here. I’m certain that if any such movement begins, it will be met with a massive resistance and a massive amount of anger.”
Shah added: “This is an attempt to spread a phobia among the Muslims, and the Muslims must not give into it…. We must not admit that this is frightening us because if it comes to the crunch, we will fight back…. Because we are defending our homes, we are defending our homeland, we are defending our families, we are defending our children.… I am not talking of our beliefs, beliefs very easily get threatened.”
This month, Haridwar in Uttarakhand, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, and Pune in Maharashtra witnessed several anti-Muslim gatherings. During these events, Hindu monks and Hindutva leaders called for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims. Despite outrage and criticisms, no action has been taken against them so far in this matter.