Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah on Monday said the people should look at the similarities between India and Pakistan rather than the differences.
Shah was speaking during the launch of a book by former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri that was released in Mumbai in the face of stiff protests by the Shiv Sena.
“I wish we could have accorded Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri the kind of welcome I received when I visited Lahore. I would only like tell hate-mongers and those who prefer confrontation over debate and discussion that they look for the differences between India and Pakistan rather than the similarities,” Shah said, refraining from naming the Shiv Sena.
Recently, opposition by the Shiv Sena led to the cancellation of concerts in Mumbai and Pune by acclaimed Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali.
Speaking at the launch, Shah rejected the Sena’s charge that Indian artistes were not allowed to visit Pakistan.
Shah said he had performed in the neighbouring country numerous times. “I went to Pakistan several times but never has a performance been disrupted, disturbed or even threatened. I have never had to carry any security.”
Within hours of his remarks, ‘Naseeruddin Shah’ started trending on Twitter, and the Bollywood actor was trolled .
Folks don't take Naseeruddin shah too seriously he's just male version of Alia Bhatt.— Paresh Puranik (@paresh_puranik) October 12, 2015
Dear Mr Naseeruddin Shah I'm a great fan of yours. I humbly suggest you stay in Pakistan for 2 months for a drama workshop. Then we'll talk.— Gautam Trivedi (@Gotham3) October 12, 2015
People like Naseeruddin Shah look at the world through tinted glasses & make popular statements without understanding ground realities.— Gautam Trivedi (@Gotham3) October 12, 2015
Earlier in the day, alleged Sena activists smeared Observer Research Foundation (ORF) chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face with black ink to protest against the launch of Kasuri’s ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’.
“It’s very easy to outrage but what Kulkarni (one of the organisers of the event) did required fortitude and courage. Kulkarni’s courage in dealing with what happened sent a message louder what any speech could have,” Shah said.
Kulkarni, co-organiser of the launch event in Mumbai and an adviser to BJP veterans Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani in the previous NDA government, was present at the event and delivered the opening address despite the ink attack on him.