Not a Traitor, But a Worried Indian: Naseeruddin Stands By Comment

“What I said earlier was as a worried Indian. What did I say this time that I am being termed as a traitor?”

3 min read

Despite a public backlash, actor Naseeruddin Shah has said that he stands by his statement saying “the death of a cow is being given more importance than the killing of a policeman.”

“What I said earlier was as a worried Indian. 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?” (sic)
Naseeruddin Shah, reported by ANI

Shah’s comment on “a cow’s life has more importance than a police officer’s” was made in a video interview with ‘Karwan-e-Mohabbat India.’ The statement was an apparent reference to the Bulandshahr mob violence in Uttar Pradesh, where on 3 December, a police officer, Subodh Kumar Singh and another man, was killed by an angry mob over alleged cow slaughter in the city.


The organisation had later shared the interview on its YouTube channel on Monday, 17 December.

In the interview, the actor had said that the “poison has already spread” and it would now be difficult to contain it.

“It will be very difficult to capture this jinn back into the bottle again. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands. In many areas, we are witnessing that the death of a cow is more significant than that of a police officer.” 
Naseeruddin Shah, Actor

‘I Feel Anxious for My Children’

Shah, who is married to actor Ratna Pathak Shah, also said in the interview that they chose not to give any religious education to their children – Imaad and Vivaan – as he believes “being good or evil has nothing to do with religion.”


“I had received religious education as a child. Ratna (his wife) was from a liberal household so she received next to none. And we chose not to give religious education to our children because I believe being good or evil has nothing to do with religion.”

Shah added that, “We taught them about good and bad, what our beliefs are. I did make them learn a few verses from the Quran Sharif, as I believe reciting them improves one’s articulation. Just like one’s articulation improves reading from the Ramayana or Mahabharata from its original... (sic)”

Shah further said that he is worried that the situation would not improve “anytime soon” and said he is angry, but not scared.

“I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow, if a mob surrounds them and asks, ‘Are you a Hindu or a Muslim,’ they will have no answer. It worries me that I don’t see the situation improving anytime soon.”

“These matters don't scare me, they make me angry. And I feel every right-thinking man should feel angry, not scared. This is our home. Who dare evict us from here?” he questioned.

On 3 December, a mob, including right-wing activists, attacked a police station over alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr, UP. The incident led to the deaths of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and another man.

Shah’s statement is reminiscent of Aamir Khan's comments on intolerance in 2015 which had sparked a major controversy.


‘Have the Right to Criticize Virat Kohli’

Naseeruddin Shah was also questioned regarding his comment on Indian cricket team captain, Virat Kohli— where he called Kohli “the world’s worst behaved player” in a Facebook post. He stood by his earlier comment and said,

“On the basis of being an Indian citizen, I have the right to criticize Virat Kohli, just like he has the right to criticize me.”

In a Facebook post, Shah had said,“Virat K is not only the worlds best batsman but also the worlds worst behaved player. His cricketing brilliance pales beside his arrogance and bad manners. And I have no intention of leaving the country by the way.”

The post was reportedly in response to Kohli asking a fan to ‘leave the country’, when the latter claimed that he preferred Australian and English batsmen to their Indian counterparts.

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