Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah has come under right-wing outfits’ the target for his remark on Bulandshahr violence that the death of cow was given more importance than the killing of a policeman. During an interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, Shah, referring to the recent Bulandshahr violence in which a cop was killed on the recovery of cow carcasses, had said, “There is complete impunity for those who take the law into their own hands. In many regions, we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significance than that of a police officer.”
Soon after his remark, it took now time Shah turned from one of the most respected actors of the Hindi film industry into many things - a “traitor”, a “Pakistani agent”. The President of Uttar Pradesh's Nav Nirman Sena, Amit Jani, booked him a one-way ticket to Pakistan dated for August 14, 2019. Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on August 14.
This didn’t stop here and a BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh said that Naseeruddin Shah is growing into a Pakistan agent. "Naseeruddin Shah is a good artist. In one of his movies, he played the role of a Pakistani agent. I think he is growing into that character now," Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Mahendranath Pandey said.
Pandey was referring to a famous Bollywood movie Sarfarosh in which Shah had played the character of a sinister Pakistani Intelligence agent. The movie also starred another famous actor Amir Khan in the lead role. Interestingly, Khan had also expressed similar concerns over the increasing intolerance in the country and received the same backlash his Sarfarosh co-star is facing today.
Shah, however, refused to be bogged down by right-wing bashing and defended his remarks, saying he made them as a concerned Indian citizen. “What did I say this time that I am being termed as a traitor? I am expressing concerns about the country I love, the country that is my home. How is that a crime?” he asked.
On December 3, police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was fatally shot at a point-blank range above his left eye during mob violence in Chingrawathi village of Bulandshar following the recovery of cow carcasses in a sugarcane field. After the killing of the policeman, Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural) Raees Akhtar said that the cow killers were their priority and the killing of the cop and rioting was on the backburner for the time being. The Uttar Pradesh police even arrested three people accused of the alleged cow slaughter even as the killers of the cop were still at large.