Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher traded barbs on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Composite Image)
Naseeruddin Shah and Anupan Kher are two India's finest actors. In the film 'A Wednesday', the characters played by the two stood at opposite ends of a tense tussle. Shah played a common man with an agenda while Kher played a cop intent on stopping him. Both try their best to outwit the other but in the end they also find a sense of respect for the other.
On another Wednesday, Shah and Kher again stood at the opposite ends of another tense exchange- this time in real life. However, one can confidently say, in the end 'respect' will be the last thing on their minds.
After Naseeruddin Shah called Anupam Kher a clown and a sycophant, the latter responded with comments like 'he has spent all his life in frustration'. While speaking on issue of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in an interview, Shah referred to Kher, who has been very vocal in his support to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its policies, as a clown and added that sycophancy was in his blood.
Soon, Anupam Kher hit back with a video on Twitter where he launched into a scathing attack against the veteran actor. He captioned the post as, "My deep love-filled message for Janaab Naseeruddin Shah. He is elder to me in age as well as in experience. I have always respected his art, but it is very necessary to respond to some statements. This is my response."
"Thank you for the praises but I don't take you or your statements seriously. You spent your entire life in frustration despite getting so much of success. If you can criticise Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Shah Rukh Khan, and Virat Kohli, then I am sure I am in great company," Kher said in the video.
"None of the actors criticised by you took your statements seriously because we all know that it is because of the substances that you have been consuming from years that you are not able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong," he added.
Reacting to Shah's comment that Kher has "sychophantic nature" in his blood, Kher said, "If you are able to grab headlines by criticising me then I gift you this happiness. I wish God keeps you happy. And you know what is in my blood? It is Hindustan (India) in my blood."
In a recent interview, Naseeruddin talked about the protests against the CAA, about many Bollywood stars keeping mum over the issue, and also about the student protests and actress Deepika Padukone's show of solidarity at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
When asked about Kher, Shah said: "Someone like Anupam Kher has been very vocal. I don't think he needs to be taken seriously. He's a clown. Any number of his contemporaries from NFD and FTII can attest to his sycophantic nature. It's in his blood, he can't help it."
Speaking about Deepika who had visited JNU during a protest, Shah said, "You have to laud the courage of a girl like Deepika who is in the top firmament and yet takes a step like this. Even if she has a lot to lose."