Richa Chadha, Neeraj Ghaywan slam Manoj Muntashir for calling Mughals 'dacoits'
Lyricist and Indian Idol judge Manoj Muntashir has courted controversy with a new video, in which he called Mughal emperors such as Akbar, Jehangir and Humayun 'glorified dacoits'. Actor Richa Chadha and filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan were among the many industry figures who called Manoj's comments problematic.
Neeraj Ghaywan, the director of films such as Masaan and Geeli Pucchi, quote-tweeted the video and wrote, "Bigotry laced with casteism!" Richa Chadha, responding to Neeraj's tweet, wrote, "Cringe. Bad poetry, unwatchable. Should drop the pen name too. Why profit off of something you so hate," making a reference to Manoj's pen name 'muntashir'.
Screenwriter Mayur Puri tweeted, "Why seed hatred, Manojbhai? No country has a perfectly rosy history. Par writers ko aag lagaane ka nahin, aag bujhane ka kaam karna chahiye (But writers should try to put out the fire, not spread it). Please don’t mind, but I’m a bit disappointed that you are doing this kind of work,” he wrote.
Lyricist and poet Hussain Haidry wrote that this isn't the first time that Manoj was 'spreading hate or lies'.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri stood up in Manoj's defence. He tweeted, "Oh, boy… @manojmuntashir Manoj Muntashir has always been expressing his perspective fearlessly in his poetry and public discourse. If you are ignorant doesn’t mean he has changed suddenly. Stupid liberals, please sit down."
In a recent interview, filmmaker Kabir Khan said that he cannot respect films that demonise Mughals, whom he described as 'the original nation-builders'. He told Bollywood Hungama, "It's the easiest thing today, demonising the Mughals and various other Muslim rulers that India had at different points in its history. Trying to fit them into preconceived stereotypes, it is distressing. I cannot respect those films, unfortunately. That's my personal opinion, of course, I can't speak for larger audiences, but I definitely get upset by those kind of portrayals.