Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Sunday came out in support of Naseeruddin Shah, who recently stoked a controversy with his remark on mob violence and appeared in a video for the Amnesty India against alleged government crackdown on NGOs. Being asked about the veteran actor's comments, Sen said, "We must protest against such attempts to disturb the actor... What has been happening (in the country) is objectionable. It should stop." The 85-year-old economist further claimed many institutions in the country are under attack, and their freedom is being encroached. "Even journalists are facing harassment".
In a 2.13-minute solidarity video for the human rights watchdog Amnesty, Shah had said on Friday that those who demand rights are being locked up.
About troll attacks against personalities like Shah, Sen said, "Losing the ability to tolerate others is a serious cause for concern, it points to the losing of ability to think and analyse".
Under the hashtag #AbkiBaarManavAdhikaar, the Amnesty had claimed that India has witnessed a massive crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights defenders.
In his solidarity messsage in Urdu, Shah had said, "Artistes, actors, scholars, poets are all being stifled. Journalists too are being silenced. "In the name of religion, walls of hatred are being erected. Innocents are being killed. The country is awash with horrific hatred and cruelty."
Last month, the 68-year Bollywood actor had said the death of a cow had acquired more significance than that of a police officer in the country. His statement came on the heels of the December 3 mob violence that broke out in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr over alleged cow slaughter in the Mahaw village. The violence led to the death of two men, including SHO Subodh Kumar Singh.
Post that, the National Award-winning actor's visit to a literary fest in December was cancelled following massive protests by Hindu outfits over his comments on mob violence.