If we look at the country’s condition over the last four years, we’ll be able to understand if it’s worth living in, he says.
“In the past few days, Naseeruddin Shah has been attacked multiple times for a statement he had given in this series. He has been accused of tarnishing India’s image,” Professor Apoorvanand started off saying as he spoke to Karwan-e-Mohabbat — a civil society initiative for peace and justice led by of activists, writers and journalists — as part of an interview series, “Tathya”.
Apoorvanand explained that what Shah really said got “lost somewhere”. In his interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Shah had said that there is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands. “In many areas, we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significance than that of a police officer,” the actor said.
The Delhi University professor underlined that what Shah’s remarks hold significance in the current times. “Whatever is happening is right in front of us. Should we not be concerned that the case involving the murder of inspector in Bulandshahr violence, instead of getting solved is getting more complicated? Should we not be concerned that the senior police officer accused in Ishrat Jahan case was recently promoted by the Gujarat government,” Apoorvanand said. “Naseeruddin Shah said that all of this is happening in the name of religion,” he added.
In an attempt to highlight religious intolerance prevalent in the country, Shah had said, “I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks, ‘Are you a Hindu or Muslim?’ Then they will have no answer.”
Further, the Hindi professor asserted that there are still many people whose values don’t come from religion but somewhere else. “What is right or wrong, good or bad, these values are not just sourced from religion but somewhere else. All the values are of equality, values of brotherhood, of love, and we didn’t need religion for this,” he said, in his defence of the Wednesday actor.
Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for attacking Shah, Apoorvanand called his comment “sneering”. “People started attacking Naseeruddin over this issue. One of the sneering attacks was of the prime minister And he said that when the elections are fast approaching, some people strategically make such remarks,” he said.
Shah had said that he was not scared, but angry at the current situation. “These matters don’t scare me. They make me angry. And I want that every right thinking person should feel angry, not scared. This is our home. Who dares to evict us from here?” the actor said. Similarly, veteran filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta in his interview with The Telegraph also suggested that India is not worth living in anymore. Apoorvanand drew attention to Dasgupta’s comments as well, he said, “So today while thinking about Naseeruddin Shah’s statement, we also need to look at another statement given by Buddhadeb Dasgupta.” “He had said that after the attacks on Naseeruddin, it seems like the country is not worth living anymore. If we look back at our country’s condition over the past four years, we will able to understand whether it is worth living in the present conditions?” Apoorvanand asked.