Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah on Wednesday became a topic of intense social media conversations after he described Mughals as ‘refugees’ adding that the recent calls for the genocide of Muslims by Hindutva terrorists could lead to ‘civil war’ in India.
In an interview to Karan Thapar of The Wire, the veteran Indian actor said, “The so-called atrocities of the Mughals are being highlighted all the time. We forget that the Mughals are people who have contributed to the country. They are people who have left lasting monuments in the country…who have left the tradition of dancing, music, painting, literature. Mughals came here to make this their homeland. They were like, you can call them refugees if you like.”
No sooner did the video of Naseeruddin Shah’s interview emerge, the legendary actor began to face backlash from Hindutva supporters.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta is too busy that they now had to get Naseeruddin Shah to talk politics? ???????? https://t.co/ATetXisics
— Pratyush Adhikary (প্রত্যুষ অধিকারী) (@ThePratOfficial) December 29, 2021
Mughals were refugees, Aryans were invaders & Naseeruddin Shah so called champion of Secularism are legacy of Mughal refugees in India pic.twitter.com/M7nAIiNF2E
— Pankaj Kr Gupta (@PinkuGu75419305) December 29, 2021
The Ancestors of Mughals, the Timurids had a great of art and architecture in Samarqand and Bukhara. Naseeruddin Shah is bit wrong here. People coming with cannons, muskets, swords and arrows aren’t refugees. They are Invaders.#Mughals #naseeruddinshah pic.twitter.com/ScIf8p4IkS
— I have less brain than you (@R0meoRomeo) December 29, 2021
Reacting to the recent calls for genocide of Muslims by Hindutva terrorists, Naseeruddin Shah said that India’s Muslims were going to fight back if the calls for ethnic cleansing did not stop immediately. He said, “If it comes to the crunch, we will fight back… If it comes to that, we will. We are defending our homes, our family, our children.”
He added, “I wonder if they know what they are talking about? 200 million are going to fight back. We belong here. We were born here and we will live here.” The actor said that it could lead to a ‘civil war.’
The Indian actor said that when he heard about the calls to kill Indian Muslims, his first reaction was of ‘anger.’ “What is happening here is, I think, a concerted attempt to make Muslims feel insecure. It is starting from the very top where Aurangzeb is being invoked and Mughals invaders is being invoked. Separatism seems to have become a policy for the ruling party,” he said.
He continued, “I was curious to see what would happen to these guys (terrorists who made calls for Muslims’ genocide). The fact that nothing happened to them is not surprising. Nothing happened to the person (India’s junior home minister) whose son trampled farmers.”
Shah was referring to an earlier speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who invoked Aurangzeb during an election rally in Varanasi.