Naseeruddin Shah is a seasoned Indian film actor who has won several awards for his performances.
So when Hindustan Times asked him to pen down his thoughts on Indian Muslims, this is what he wrote.
Some might find his thoughts controversial and some might find them to be true. Some of his thoughts point in a direction where we are gradually heading, one step at a time. Or are we really heading there? You need to read the statements he made in this context and find out for yourself.
He basically wrote on the issue of polarisation in the country and why Indian Muslims should stop considering themselves as victims. He asked people to rise above the petty divisive politics and think in the simple language of 'human beings'.
Love conquers all, including religion. Naseeruddin Shah and his Hindu wife Ratna Pathak Shah are a perfect example of this quote.
WittyFeed brings you what he told Hindustan Times.
He wrote in the Hindustan Times, "A depressing indicator of the extent of the divisiveness eating into us today is the fact that not too long ago on a quiz show, not one of the contestants got the answer to who wrote `saare jahan se achchca Hindustan hamara' right and the fact that it was a Muslim astonished not a few of them."
"Islam too has never been in greater need of reform and enlightened interpretation than it is now, though considering that fundamentalists currently rule the roost everywhere, that's probably not a smart thing to say. But it is time for Muslims to throw the caretakers of religion out and form their own beliefs based on an understanding of what their holy book actually says."
"The saffron brigade did not have to rack their brains to come up with the idea of evoking and lambasting tyrannical invaders of hundreds of years ago to illustrate "the harm Muslim rule did to the country". We "the invaders' descendants", albeit with plenty of indigenous blood in us, many generations later, need to make reparation for our supposed ancestors' misdeeds."
"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."
"Undeniable though it is that many Indian Muslims misguidedly consider Pakistan their haven, the immeasurably greater number who take intense pride in being Indian and who connect deeply with the country are hurt and angered at our patriotism being under scrutiny.
I cannot, from my lifetime, recall a period when Muslims were suspected en masse of being unpatriotic and required to explain themselves. The sins of the few have been visited on us all."
"Evidently, as a Muslim, it should not be my concern to urge India and Pakistan not to hurt each other and if I did I was pro-Pak. Because we are going to bomb the shit out of them" proclaimed one desi troll whose ideal obviously is the Donald."
"Never before in our country have rational statements of concern and pleas for peace, not only from Muslims, been interpreted as cowardly or seditious. It is almost as if the day was being awaited when this could be done. A Facebook post quoting Einstein's warning about nuclear warfare received a few likes but the fair share of abuse and vilification of Islam it also got stumped me. I was even warned - not to poke your nose in matters that don't concern you!"
"Indian Muslims' indifference, particularly among the economically weaker sections, to education or hygiene need not be reiterated nor the fact that they have no one but themselves to blame for these ills. And how come the length of Sania Mirza's skirt causes more agitation than the lack of modern education and employment opportunities for our community?"
"The first tricky moment was our decision to not fill in the column asking 'religion' at the time of our children's school admission. Apart from objecting to this in principle, we averred that we genuinely had no idea what their religion was at that time or what it would be later. Not considering a religious education of any kind necessary, we had decided to leave the choice of faith to them."
"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."
"Muslims and Hindus both today need to start speaking for themselves and not buy into the harangues of narrow minded bigots and self-appointed spokesmen who condemn Yoga as anti-Islamic and those who consider equating Surya Namaskar with Namaaz as insulting to Hinduism."
"My wife Ratna is Hindu, and we were married much before the term 'love jihad' was coined and acted upon. She and I both have no more than a ritualistic connection with our respective religions. Eid and Diwali are joyous occasions for us and we celebrate both with equal gusto - so our disparate religious upbringings didn't merit a thought.
When Ratna and I decided to marry, discussing conversion and anticipating the social problems we might have couldn't have been further from our minds. But over the past few years, the nightmarish possibility of my children being someday confronted by a mob demanding to know their religion could be inching closer to reality."
Content Source - Hindustan Times