In a recent interview, Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah expressed his concerns about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s ruling party, cleverly capitalizing on the rise of hatred against Muslims. He described the current period as troubling and highlighted the presence of Islamophobia in Bollywood films, reflecting the real-world events.
According to Shah, this is indeed a disturbing time, where such narratives and open propaganda are being appreciated as a reflection of the prevailing atmosphere. He noted that hating Muslims has become fashionable, even among educated individuals, and attributed this trend to the BJP’s strategic instigation of hatred among the general public.
Shah further questioned why religion permeates every aspect of Indian society if the country claims to be secular and democratic. He criticized the Election Commission for turning a blind eye to politicians who exploit religion for electoral gains, while a Muslim leader invoking “Allahu Akbar” during a campaign would ignite controversy.
Despite expressing optimism and believing that the era of Muslim hatred and religious polarization will eventually end, Shah acknowledged that the current use of religious rhetoric is at an all-time high. He credited the BJP government for playing a clever card in this regard.
The renowned actor also lamented the Hindi film industry’s lack of proactive engagement in addressing significant issues and questioned whether a film depicting wrestlers protesting in the capital would ever be made.
Naseeruddin Shah, known for his outspoken views, has faced backlash in the past for his criticism of the BJP government. In the interview, he highlighted the fear pervading the film industry and referred to the arrest of Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan, in a drug case as a warning to others.
While Shah acknowledged his own lack of fear in expressing his opinions, he expressed concerns about the direction the country is headed, describing the situation as terrifying and a regression.