Renowned Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah has launched a scathing attack on the Indian government, accusing it of propagating Islamophobia in the country as a means to garner votes. In a recent interview with an Indian news publication, Shah, known for his vocal criticism of the ruling party, blamed the government for cleverly exploiting people’s prejudices against Muslims.
Shah expressed concern about the unabashed portrayal of Islamophobia in contemporary films, stating that it reflects the harsh reality faced by Muslims in the country. He emphasized, “These are truly worrying times. The kind of unadulterated propaganda that is being embraced is a reflection of the prevailing sentiment of the times.” The veteran actor highlighted the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, even among educated individuals, which he attributed to the ruling party’s calculated exploitation of this divisive narrative. He questioned the introduction of religion into every aspect of public discourse, despite India’s commitment to secularism and democracy.
Continuing his criticism, Shah targeted the Election Commission of India for its silence and inaction against the blatant tactics employed by politicians to secure votes. He denounced the commission’s lack of courage in addressing such issues. Shah pointed out the stark contrast in reactions, highlighting that if a Muslim leader had made similar remarks, there would have been severe repercussions. He expressed hope that the current situation would eventually subside, but noted that at present, Islamophobia is at its peak due to the government’s shrewd manipulation, which has yielded results. He emphasized the need to observe how long this strategy continues to be effective.
Shifting focus to his professional endeavors, Shah’s most recent appearance was in the web series ‘Taj: Divided by Blood,’ in which he starred alongside Dharmendra, Aashim Gulati, Sandhya Mridul, and Aditi Rao Hydari.
Naseeruddin Shah’s strong criticism of the Indian government’s role in perpetuating Islamophobia underscores his concerns about the prevailing sentiments in the country and the impact on its social fabric.