Mob lynching in India: Naseeruddin Shah says open hate in society is disturbing
MUMBAI: The veteran Bollywood actor announced to stand by his statement and criticised that the ‘open hate’ in the society is ‘disturbing’ as he faced ‘a lot of abuse by people’.
The actor was referring to the letter sent to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi by a number of celebrities including him as well which voiced serious concerns over the growing incidents of mob lynching of Muslims. The open letter led the registration of a police complaint against the 49 personalities on October 4 to what they had written to Modi three months ago.
The media report quoted Shah, saying, “I just felt that what I said needed to be said. I stand by it. I faced a lot of abuse by people, who had nothing better to do. It doesn’t affect me at all. But what is disturbing is this open hate.”
Shah made the statement while he was in conversation with actor-director Anand Tiwari at the 9th edition of India Film Project in Mumbai on Saturday.
It may to noted here that almost 49 Indian celebrities from various fields had penned down an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 23 against incidents of Muslim lynching across the country.
Celebrities ranging from actor Konkona Sen and singer Shubha Mudgal to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap had demanded “exemplary punishment” for the criminals which must be carried out “swiftly and surely.”
The letter reads, “The lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately. We were shocked to learn from the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) reports that there have been no less than 840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016, and a definite decline in the percentage of convictions.”
“Further, 254 religious identity-based hate crimes were reported between January 1, 2009, and October 29, 2018, where at least 91 persons were killed and 579 were injured (FactChecker.indatabase (October 30, 2018). The Citizen’s Religious Hate-Crime Watch recorded that Muslims, (14 per cent of India’s population) were the victims in 62 per cent of cases, and Christians (2 per cent of the July 23, 2019 population), in 14 per cent of cases. About 90 per cent of these attacks were reported after May 2014, when your government assumed power nationally.”
The celebrities concluded the open letter with “We hope our suggestions will be taken in the spirit that they are meant – as Indians genuinely concerned with, and anxious about, the fate of our nation.”
This open letter came as a reaction of last month’s killing of Tabrez Ansari who had been accused by villagers for carrying out a burglary. He was tied to a pole and beaten for up to 12 hours before police first detained him in Seraikela, and then took him to a hospital — where he later died.