Naseeruddin Shah, a well-known actor and vocal critic of the ruling government party, recently expressed his concerns about the rising hate against the Muslim community.
In an interview with the Indian Express, Shah highlighted that this hate has been cleverly instilled in people's minds, describing it as a worrisome trend in current times.
Shah emphasized that the portrayal of Muslims in ongoing films reflects the prevailing reality of unabashed Islamophobia.
He lamented, "Oh sure, these are worrying times absolutely. The kind of stuff that’s pure, undisguised propaganda is being lapped up, and it’s a reflection of the zeitgeist of the times."
"Muslim hating is fashionable these days, even among educated people. It’s what the ruling party has very cleverly tapped into this nerve. We talk about secular this, democracy that, so why are you introducing religion into everything?" Shah added.
The actor criticized the election commission for remaining a mute spectator while politicians exploit religion to gain votes and suggested that if a Muslim leader had asked for votes using the phrase "Allahu Akbar," it would have caused utter devastation.
He expressed hope that the divisive use of religion as a political card would eventually fade away. Shah questioned the election commission's silence, saying, "I mean how spineless is the election commission of ours? Who doesn’t even dare utter a word."
"If there had been a Muslim leader who had said, ‘Allah Hu Akbar bol ke button dabao’, sh*t would have hit the fan. But here our Prime Minister goes ahead and says things like this. So, I have hope that this will wear off."
Shah further stated: "But it’s definitely, at the moment, at its peak. It’s been a very clever card played by this government, and it has worked. Let’s see how long it continues to work."
Naseeruddin Shah's critique of the Indian government is not a new occurrence. The veteran actor is known for his bold and outspoken statements, fearlessly addressing societal and political issues.
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