Bollywood star Naseeruddin Shah spoke out against Hindutva calls for an ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India, remarking that the Muslims of India would not be threatened without a fight.
In an interview with The Wire, Shah detailed how Muslims in India are being vilified till as far back as the Mughal era, saying, “It is starting from the very top where Aurangzeb is being evoked and Mughal invaders are being named and the separatism seems to have become a policy for the ruling party.”
He added, “They forget that the Mughals were people who contributed to this country and are people who’ve left lasting monuments, history, culture, tradition of dance, music, poetry and literature. They came here to make this their homeland and to hold Muslims in India today responsible for the so-called atrocities is nothing short of ridiculous.”
Shah received a massive backlash from many Indian fans for his comments, with many criticising him for calling the Mughals ‘well-off refugees’:
“I wonder if these people know what they’re talking about because what they are calling for is a full scale civil war. Two hundred million of us are not going to get wiped out that easily. Two hundred million of us are going to fight back, we claim it [India] to be our motherland, we belong here and were born here, generations of our families have lived and died here and I’m certain if any such movement begins, it’s going to be met with a massive resistance and a massive amount of anger,” the veteran actor opined.