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Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub on Bollywood: They Are Neither Secular Nor Communal, They Are Opportunists
Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub says that the industry favours those who are in power and most people are just businessmen, they are neither secular nor communal. Read on.
Actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub has been one of the most prominent voices from the Hindi film industry raising against communal discrimination, feudalism and political discourse affecting freedom of speech in the country. Now, in his latest interview with Firstpost, the actor talked about his industry and whether it’s communal or secular. He explained how the impact of a right-wing party is changing the nuances of the film industry where more and more people are being politically inclined rather than choosing liberty from unnecessary politicisation of matters. Zeeshan highlighted how most people in the industry are mere opportunists and support whosoever is in the power without any logical basis of their own.
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Zeeshan said, “These are business people, so to say of them that they were earlier secular and now have become communal is false. They are neither secular nor communal. They will do what benefits them. If this government were to change and a revolution comes in India where we start making Dalit icons, these people will start worshipping Dalits.” The actor mentioned the three coveted Khans of Bollywood and how the influence of their films on the audience is diminishing. He said that the industry no more just relies on the three Khans for business and when they see this change, they think that they should better support those who will make the government happy.
Zeeshan explained, “Their films are not doing as well as they used to, and this time would have naturally come anyway since they are all 54-55 – it was bound to happen that they would start doing character roles, Aamir has already adapted, gradually Shah Rukh sir will do so too, Salman too will change his way of cinema. Now when they don’t need these three anymore, when they have actors with non-Muslim names and the government is such that if you speak ill of Muslims they will favour you, then why would they not?”
But, does he think that Bollywood is still secular? Zeeshan said that there are people in the industry who are politically sound and speak out of an agenda like Anupam Kher who ‘probably have political ambitions’, but in a bigger picture, the industry doesn’t have any particular voice. He said most people in the industry are happy seeing their mediocrity being felicitated with a Padma Shri, and that’s the reason they sing a similar tone that doesn’t go against the government.
“Most of these people are just businesspersons… And this person is throwing crumbs their way, distributing Padma Shris and other things to all sorts of people such that the credibility of these awards has been destroyed. These people are the biggest hypocrites – they will change their tune in 6 months if this party goes out of power, they are only opportunists and they are the most dangerous,” said Zeeshan.
Zeeshan has worked in films like Article 15, Raanjhana, Zero, Tanu Weds Manu series, Tubelight, and Dolly Ki Doli among others.