Asked once whether he considered himself a Hindu, Gandhiji had replied: “Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” wrote Sufi poet Rumi long before the Mahatma. And he also wrote this: “Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged”
Now the highly regarded actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has something similar to say through a video he has posted.
Not through the spoken word but through placards Gurmehar Kaur style, he says he is part Hindu, part Muslim, part Sikh, part Christian, part Buddhist, part every other religion of the world. All in equal parts: 16.66% each. But, he adds, he is 100% an artist.
A powerful, poignant message. A message most likely to be lost on the self-proclaimed cow vigilantes and their political mentors.
Last Dussehra, Siddiqui was reportedly denied the chance to play Maarich in his village Ramleela simply because he is a Muslim.
Siddiqui’s upcoming films include Sridevi-starrer Mom, the dance drama Munna Michael and Nandita Das’s Manto.