Naseeruddin Shah: I feel I am being targeted for being a Muslim
Naseeruddin Shah has always warmed up to Pakistan, visiting Lahore numerous times and collaborating with Pakistani artists. The Bollywood actor participated in the book launch event of former Pakistani foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri. At the event, Shah spoke about peaceful relations between India and Pakistan and had stated the following:-
“I went to Pakistan several times but never has a performance been disrupted, disturbed or even threatened. I have never had to carry any security.”
“I wish we could have accorded Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri the kind of welcome I received when I visited Lahore. I would only like to tell hate-mongers and those who prefer confrontation over debate and discussion that they look for the differences between India and Pakistan rather than the similarities,” he had said.
Following the remarks, Naseeruddin Shah was trumped and trolled online by the Indian Twitter users, who questioned his patriotism and his pro-Pakistan statements. In response to the statements, Shah stated that he was pained to receive such a reaction and said that it was probably because he was an Indian Muslim.
“My name is Naseeruddin Shah and I believe that’s why I was targeted. It really pains me to say this. I have never ever been aware of my identity until now. I was quite astounded that what I said was reported on news channel where everything I stated was interpreted as being anti-Indian and there was nothing of the sort that I had actually said.
Shah was adamant on the fact that he was a patriotic Indian since his family had lived in the country for four generations hence he did not need to prove to anyone his patriotism.
“Four generations of my family have lived in India. I am proud to be an Indian and I will not allow anybody to question my patriotism,” he said. “I do not actually understand that why anything said as a compliment to Pakistan must be construed as anti-Indian.”
Naseeruddin Shah was quite disturbed at the reaction he had received. However, Indians were not particularly nice this time around as well. Here are some of the harsh tweets which resulted after Shah’s recent statement:-
— Deepika Tulsi Roy (@tiapakhii) October 15, 2015
#NaseeruddinShah talking about Pak doesn’t make you Anti-India but talking in support of Pak makes U a one.
— Mr Awesome (@HardlinerMr) October 14, 2015
#NaseeruddinShah sir it seems u have never eye witnessed a terrorist attack…if u wud have witnessed any u wud never say the same…
— kavish shah (@kavsh) October 13, 2015