Naseeruddin Shah to HT: ‘I cannot recall a time when Muslims were suspected en masse of being unpatriotic’

Iconic Actor, Naseeruddin Shah's article penned for Indian National Dail;y, Hindustan Times is a scorching reflection of the low leve;s that Indian public discourse has been reduced to

The entire article may be read here

“Evidently, as a Muslim, it should not be my concern to urge India and Pakistan not to hurt each other and if I did I was pro-Pak.”

"Never before in our country have rational statements of concern and pleas for peace, not only from Muslims, been interpreted as cowardly or seditious. It is almost as if the day was being awaited when this could be done. A Facebook post quoting Einstein’s warning about nuclear warfare received a few likes but the fair share of abuse and vilification of Islam it also got stumped me. I was even warned “not to poke your nose in matters that don’t concern you”! That the survival of the human race does not concern me was indeed news. Evidently, as a Muslim, it should not be my concern to urge India and Pakistan not to hurt each other and if I did I was pro-Pak, “because we are going to bomb the shit out of them” proclaimed one desi troll whose ideal obviously is the Donald.

"Like all children growing up in India post-partition, I heard horror stories of “them” just as “they” certainly heard identical ones about “us”. The supposed savagery of the Sikhs was much mentioned, but I don’t think I ever connected those deeds with the Sikh and Hindu friends I had, and I know the feeling was reciprocal. These acts of depravity were committed by unnamed villians not real people, we all thought; incidentally the longest lasting, dearest friends I have had in my life have been mostly Sikhs, and considering the extreme bloodletting between Sikhs and Muslims at partition, doesn’t it say something about subsequent political machinations that those two communities have never been at each other’s throats again? The puerile religious taunts schoolchildren unthinkingly tossed around then were never venomous enough to even warrant fisticuffs but these nebulous aversions seem to have crystallised over time and found their targets – each other.



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