Naseeruddin Shah says essential for Muslims to stop feeling persecuted, assert claim on India

Naseeruddin Shah claimed that it was for the first time in the country that pleas for peace and rational statements of concern, not just from Muslims have been interpreted as cowardly or seditious. "It is almost as if the day was being awaited when this could be done," he said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 20, 2017 10:39 am
Naseeruddin Shah, Naseeruddin Shah play, A Walk in the Woods, Delhi Theatre Festival, india pakistan, bollywood Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah. Express Photo/Nirmal Harindran

Veteran film and stage actor Naseeruddin Shah has weighed in on what many term as ongoing polarisation in the country, saying it was ‘essential’ for Muslims in India to stop feeling victimised and persecuted, and assert their claim on India.

“It seems essential for Muslims in India to get over the feeling of victimisation they are in now; it is a trap all too easy to stumble into – we must determine to stop feeling persecuted, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding; we must stop hoping for salvation from somewhere and take matters into our own hands- not least of all to take pride in our Indian-ness and assert our claim on our country,” Shah wrote in The Hindustan Times.

Shah claimed that it was for the first time in the country that pleas for peace and rational statements of concern, not just from Muslims have been interpreted as cowardly or seditious. “It is almost as if the day was being awaited when this could be done,” he said.

In his piece, as part of the Being Muslim Now series, Shah also argued that the on-going political ploy of labelling Muslims as outsiders will be abandoned when it has outlived its usefulness, but what might happen in the interim is another matter. “The visible increase in the sight of saffron scarves and tilaks, as well as on the other side beards, hijabs and topis in a country where barely ten years ago in most states (Maharashtra, Bengal, Kerala to name only three) Hindus were indistinguishable from Muslims, is cause for apprehension but this assertion of the club you belong to and the waving of its flag was waiting to happen.”

In 2015, Shah faced criticism for his comments on Pakistan and claimed that he was targetted for his identity.

“My name is Naseeruddin Shah and I believe that’s why I was targeted. It really pains me to say this. I have never ever been aware of my identity until now,” the 66-year-old actor had said, speaking to a news channel.

Shah, referring to the then ‘award wapsi’ controversy, had also said: “I wish that the protest had been made through their work. I wish those writers, instead of returning their awards, had written more strongly on what is happening to India in protest.”

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  1. L
    Jun 4, 2017 at 11:11 am
    Hate blinds,DR. KALAM a muslim ,A R RAHMAN a muslim countless educated muslims are contributing and have contributed through bravery intellegence in forming of new INDIA yet muslims are being blamed as .........its a total blindness.Many prominant writers, poets artists and brave army men are muslims and lack of knowledge and mainly refusal accept the illness of bigatory will eventually lead india in to total dyfunctional society. change/ open the windows of mind to absorb the true sense of knowledge to remove mental blindness.IF NOT,THIS PROGRESS WII MELT LIKE ICE cubes.what is considered as progress is damaging pollution.refuse to understand timely is a death wish.LONG LIVE UNITED ONE CITIZEN INDIA.
    1. S
      Jun 2, 2017 at 8:30 pm
      There a bunch of bigoted hindutvavadis spewing hatred and lies here as usual. No muslims in India have pushed towards Sharia on the w . But these liars want to project it that way because Muslims and Christians make them insecure, so they will keep pedd lies so that majority hindus feel threatened and cute the minorities. When these hindutva vermins crawl back to the they came out of, India's peace will be restored.
      1. S
        Jun 2, 2017 at 4:10 pm
        First of all everybody is a human being. It is by birth to a couple we become either Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Indian, Britisher, etc. If everyone adapt themselves to living style where you are dwel peace would prevail. Otherwise problem would begin. Hindus are adapting themselves to the changing situation. Even though Muslims grow beard, wear burqa, etc., the worst part is that they sacrifice goat in front of a Hindu family, which is not acceptable. During working hours they take off for Namaz, by virtue of which no employer in India is interested in employing them. If Muslims do not change themselves it is difficult either to be educated or emplo sufficiently.
        1. mimi sur
          Jun 2, 2017 at 2:49 pm
          Muslims have been playing victim card since time immemorial . But actual victims are Hindus . They were forced to lie down during Islamic invaders, forced to kneel down under British regime, got their country torn apart into 3 piece by Islamic fundamentalists . Still they share their land with Muslims . They fought back and got educated , now leading their country as economic powerhouse . As Hindus dwindle , this country will go to dogs for sure and will be another syria or iraq
          1. B
            BHAGWAT GOEL
            Jun 2, 2017 at 2:39 pm
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