Bollywood’s Khans would be risking too much: Naseeruddin on Prophet remarks
Amidst the controversy over now-suspended BJP spokesperson's comments on the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), veteran Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah today expressed hope that the "hate wave" against Muslims would dissipate even if it doesn't happen in his lifetime.
In an interview to NDTV, the multiple national award-winning actor also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step in and "stop this poison from spreading".
The BJP on Sunday suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their controversial remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The BJP issued a statement aimed at assuaging the concerns of minorities and distancing itself from Sharma and Jindal asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality.
The controversial remarks also sparked a Twitter trend in the Arab world calling for a boycott of Indian products.
Naseeruddin Shah said, "What the Indian government did was too little, too late. It was a week before they even opened their mouths and said anything condemning these kinds of statements.
After her suspension from the ruling party, Sharma issued an "unconditional apology", which the actor dubbed "insincere".
"It's hardly meant to assuage hurt feelings. I wouldn't be surprised if such a hate speech occurs again. It's ironic you talk of peace and unity, you get locked up in jail for more than a year. You talk of genocide and you get a slap on the wrist. There are double standards working here. It's like the double-think of George Orwell's '1984'."
Naseeruddin Shah said he puts "complete responsibility" on TV news channels and social media for "propagating hate".
"It's a manufactured hate. It's a kind of venom that begins to spew when you are confronted with somebody with an opposite opinion...," Shah said.
Asked if Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Saif Ali Khan can open up about their thoughts today, Shah said he can't speak for other Bollywood stars.
"They would be risking too much but I don't know how they explain it to their conscience. I think they have too much to lose."
Asked to comment on how the film industry was cozying up to the government, Shah said they want to be on the winning side.
"It does look like the BJP is going to stay on the winning side for a while. It's nothing new..."