New Delhi: Bollywood actor Anupam Kher took a jibe at Naseeruddin Shah over his remark on rising mob violence in the country. Talking to reporters, Kher said, “There’s so much freedom in the country that you can abuse the army, badmouth the air chief and pelt stones at the soldiers. How much more freedom do you need in a country? He said what he felt like, it doesn’t mean it’s the truth.”
The row started after a video was released in which he had said that the djinn of intolerance was now out and there was no way of putting it back in the bottle. He said the poison is all-pervasive and now everyone has the freedom to go right ahead and do as they please. (ALSO READ: I Only Spoke The Truth: Naseeruddin Shah Defends Statement on Intolerance)
Referring to the Bulandshahr violence where a policeman lost his life to mob fury over alleged cow slaughter, Shah said, “We have seen how a cow’s death is given more importance than that of a cop.” He said that these circumstances have him worry about his children.
Shah’s outburst had invited angry comments. A user commented on the YouTube video shared by Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, a travelling activist collective that is focused on highlighting and combating instances of hate crimes and mob lynching, saying “I think Gulfam Hasan’s character played by him in ‘Sarfarosh’ is actually his real character. Anti-Indian elements are using social media very shrewdly.”
The comment was in reference to his character in the 1998 action-drama “Sarfarosh” in which he played a Pakistani singer who aids cross-border terrorism.
The actor was also trolled recently for his comment on cricketer Virat Kohli where he called the Indian skipper “world’s worst behaved player.”
Interestingly, the actor posted an update on Facebook, hours after his criticism of Kohli, writing, “Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. – Chelsea Manning, activist.”
Shah, in his Facebook criticism against Kohli, had also written that he had “no intention of leaving the country.”