If they have the right to criticise, so do I: Naseeruddin Shah

Actor Naseeruddin Shah, who has courted controversy with his views on the rising mob violence in the country, finds it strange that something he voiced as a “worried Indian” has caused a hullabaloo.

Asked about being slammed for saying that “poison” has spread in the Indian society where at some places, the death of a cow is given more significance than of a police officer, and where he feels worried for his children, Shah told the media here on Friday: “I don’t know why because what I said was from the point of view of a worried Indian, and I have said it before also. I don’t know this time what did I say to be labelled a traitor? It’s strange.”

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The Congress on Thursday endorsed Shah’s views, while BJP representatives have called it a promotional stunt.

Commenting on that, Shah said: “Yes, they will say so. And then you can say that it was the Australian team that asked me to speak against Virat Kohli.”

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The actor said people will have to tolerate criticism.

“If they have the right to criticise, so do I. I am raising a concern about my nation, a nation I love and live in… I am talking about that and expressing my concern. So what wrong am I doing?”

Asked if he has ever faced any Hindu-Muslim clash, Shah, who is married to actress Ratna Pathak Shah, said: “No”.

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His comments about his concerns regarding his children and the current socio-political state of the country feature in a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India. It was shared on its YouTube channel earlier this week.