‘How am I traitor, I said it as a worried Indian’: Naseeruddin Shah on cow remark
Actor Naseeruddin Shah became a talking point on social media on Thursday over his remarks that the death of a cow was given more importance than the killing of a policeman in some places.
“What I said earlier was as a worried Indian. What did I say this time that I am being termed as a traitor? I am expressing concerns about the country I love, the country that is my home. How is that a crime?,” said Shah after being trolled on social media over his remarks.
The actor had expressed anxiety over the well-being of his children, who he said had not been brought up as followers of any particular religion and would not be able to identify themselves on religious lines if confronted by a bloodthirsty mob.
Shah’s comments evoked outrage among certain social media users and soul-searching among others. Shah, who is married to actor Ratna Pathak Shah, said they chose not to give any religious education to their children — Imaad and Vivaan — as he believed “being good or evil has nothing to do with religion”. “I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks, ‘Are you a Hindu or a Muslim?’ they will have no answer,” he said.
“These matters don’t scare me, they make me angry. And I feel every right-thinking man should feel angry, not scared. This is our home, who dare evict us from here?” he said.
Shah’s remarks in an interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India were viewed as an apparent reference to the recent violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district, where a policeman and a civilian were killed during protests over alleged cow slaughter. After the incident, the state police said investigating who committed cow slaughter was the most important aspect of the case.
In the interview posted on YouTube on Monday, Shah said the “poison has already spread” and it will now be difficult to contain it. “There is complete impunity for those who take the law into their own hands. In many areas we are witnessing that the death of a cow is of more significance than that of a police officer,” he said.
While some commentators on Twitter urged the actor to leave the country, others took his side and echoed the view that a safer India would be in everyone’s best interests.