'Muslim hating fashionable these days': Naseeruddin Shah who intends not to watch The Kerala Story
Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah has made it clear that he has no intention to watch filmmaker Sudipto Sen's recent controversial release The Kerala Story, which depicts the alleged radicalisation and conversion of young Hindu and Christian women to Islam in Kerala and their recruitment into the terrorist organisation Islamic State or ISIS.
In a recent interview with India Today, Shah expressed his disappointment over the failure of films Bheed, Afwaah, Faraaz which were also released along with The Kerala Story.
Shah said, "Worthwhile films like Bheed, Afwaah, Faraaz, all three collapsed. Nobody went to see them, but they are flocking to see The Kerala Story which I have not seen, and I don’t intend to see, because I have read enough about it."
"On the flip side, I have hope that this atmosphere of hate gets fatigued. How long can you go on spreading hate? I think and I hope that the way it has suddenly engulfed us all, it will also disappear. But it won’t be soon," he added.
On whether films and shows are being used "as a vehicle of disinformation and propaganda", Shah told The Indian Express that "Muslim-hating is fashionable these days".
Shah said, "These are worrying times absolutely. The kind of stuff that’s pure, undisguised propaganda is being lapped up and it’s a reflection of the zeitgeist of the times.
"Muslim-hating is fashionable these days, even among educated people. It’s what the ruling party has very cleverly tapped into this nerve. We talk about secular this, democracy that, so why are you introducing religion into everything?"
The Kerala Story, which grossed the highest numbers in the box office after Pathaan, had sparked a political controversy. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has accused the film's makers of promoting the agenda of the Sangh Parivar.
He criticized the film for painting Kerala as a hub of religious extremism and spreading hate propaganda against the state.
The film was released after the Madras High Court rejected a petition seeking a ban on the release of the controversial film.
The high court verdict followed a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a series of appeals, including one filed by the Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, against the movie's release.
The petitioners claim that the film could incite hatred and hostility in society, and the top court directed them to approach the relevant high court.
While Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are the two states which banned The Kerala Story, the controversial film was made tax-free in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Though the Calcutta High Court had lifted the ban in West Bengal, the film is rarely screened in the cinema halls of the state.
(Image of Naseeruddin Shah: Facebook/Naseeruddin Shah)