Naseeruddin Shah’s Ajmer event cancelled over right-wing protests
Naseeruddin Shah is in the middle of a controversy for his remarks on ‘mob violence’. He expressed anxiety over lynching in a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India.
Organisers of an event in which Hindi film actor Naseeruddin Shah was to deliver the keynote address cancelled it following protests by right-wing organisations on Friday afternoon.
The veteran actor is in the middle of a controversy for his remarks on ‘mob violence’. Shah expressed anxiety over lynching in a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India.
The interview was posted on YouTube on Monday. In the interview, the actor expressed concern over the well-being of his children, who he said have not been brought up as followers of any particular religion.
In Ajmer, Shah was invited to deliver the keynote address of the fifth edition of Ajmer Literature Festival at 2.30 pm. He arrived in Ajmer around 11.30 am and spent an hour at his alma mater, St. Anselm’s Senior Secondary School.
Before he arrived at the lit fest, some members of Hindu outfits stormed the venue, shouting slogans against the actor and blackening posters having his photo. They asked organisers not to let the actor come to the event.
“We cancelled the session after the vandalism. We were concerned about our guest’s safety,” said Somratan Arya, a member of the organising committee. The organisers did not lodge a complaint about the vandalism.
Earlier, after visiting the school, Shah defended his statement. He said he spoke as a ‘worried Indian’ and had the right to express concern about the country ‘he loves’.
“What I said earlier was as a worried Indian. I have said this earlier as well. What did I say this time that I am being called a traitor? It is very strange,” the actor told reporters outside the school.