Naseeruddin Shah Calls Out the ‘Love Jihad’ Tamasha in UP
Naseeruddin Shah says this is not the world he had dreamt of.
Speaking to Karawan-e-Mohabbat recently, actor Naseeruddin Shah criticised the controversial ‘love jihad’ law brought about in Uttar Pradesh. The veteran actor stressed on how the entire ‘love jihad’ campaign is a tamasha that’s been manufactured to stop social interaction between Hindus and Muslims.
“I am really angry at the way in which the society is being divided, such as the ‘love jihad’ tamasha which is going on in UP. Firstly, the people who have coined this phrase, don’t know the meaning of jihad. Secondly, I don’t believe anyone is so stupid to believe that one day the population of Muslims will overtake that of Hindus in this country. Muslims will have to produce babies at an unimaginable rate to have a population more than Hindus. I don’t think anyone believes in this. This whole ‘love jihad’ tamasha has been created to put a stop to the social interaction between Hindus and Muslims and to stigmatise it, so that they don’t even think of inter-faith marriages,” said the actor.
Shah reflected on his personal life and said that when he married Ratna Pathak decades ago, he believed that religious differences in society would slowly fade away.
“My wife is a Hindu, I am a Muslim, neither am I religious, nor is she. Our children have been taught about every religion, we have not told them that they belong to a particular religion. I somewhere believed that these differences would slowly disappear. I believed that marrying a Hindu woman would set a healthy precedent. I don’t think this is wrong,” Shah said.
The actor also revealed that his mother had asked him if he was planning to ask Ratna to convert during their marriage and also supported their decision.
“My mother asked me if Ratna would change her religion for the marriage and I told her, you are asking if she will convert, I will not ask her to do that and she agreed. She asked me - how can you ask someone to change their religion. My mother was uneducated, belonged to an orthodox family, prayed 5 times a day, observed Roza her whole life, went to Haj also, she asked - how can one change all that has been taught to you since childhood? It’s not right to change one’s religion,” reminisced Naseeruddin Shah.
Shah ended the conversation by stating that this is not the world that he had dreamt of. “You can see the havoc that is being caused by the ‘love jihad’ tamasha. Innocents are being caught, harassed and beaten up. The police arrive on a happy occasion like a wedding and catch the bride and groom and later realise that they are both Muslims. And then the police don’t even think it’s necessary for them to apologise for their mistake. This is not the world that I had dreamt of,” he said.
You can watch Naseeruddin Shah’s conversation with Jameel Gulrays in the video below:
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