The socio-political climate in the country is tense with the current air of religious intolerance.
Moreover, the controversial ‘Love Jihad’ law passed in Uttar Pradesh is ringing alarm bells for even innocent inter-faith couples.
In a candid chat with Karwan e Mohabbat, Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah expressed his concern over the growing rift between Hindu and Muslims created by the Love Jihad Law. The 70-year-old renowned personality, who himself has an interfaith marriage with Ratna Pathak Shah, was of the opinion that the law was stigmatising ‘interfaith’ unions.
“I am really furious with the way divisions are being created, like the love jihad tamasha in UP. Firstly, the people who coined this phrase don’t know the meaning of the word jihad. I don’t think that anyone would be so stupid to actually believe that Muslims will overtake the Hindu population, it is unimaginable. For that, Muslims will have to have so many babies. So, this whole notion is unreal.”
“They not only want to discourage interfaith marriages but also curtail social interactions between Hindus and Muslims,” he added angrily.
The critically acclaimed actor also went on to say that he always believed his marriage to a ‘Hindu’ woman would set a healthy precedent.
“My wife is a Hindu, I am a Muslim. Neither am I religious nor is she. We have taught our children about every religion. But we have never told them that they belong to any particular religion. I always believed that these differences would slowly fade away. I believed that my marriage to a Hindu woman would set a healthy precedent. I don’t think this is wrong,” he said.
He further revealed that when his mother had asked if he would want Ratna to convert to his religion, his answer was no. Despite being orthodox, even his mother had agreed that one’s religion shouldn’t be changed.
“My mother who was uneducated, brought up in an orthodox household, prayed five times a day, observed Roza all her life, went for the Haj pilgrimage, she said, ‘The things that have been taught to you in your childhood how can that change? It is not right to change one’s religion’,” he said.
The actor expressed his disappointment and fury at the havoc being wreaked in the country under the ‘Love Jihad’ law, pointing out how even innocent couples are being targeted!
“Innocent people are being caught and harassed. They are being beaten up. On the joyous occasion of marriage, police just land up to break the bride and groom apart. Later, after realising they are both Muslims, the police don’t even feel the need to apologize!” he remarked scathingly.
“This is not the world I had dreamt of,” he concluded on a bitter note.
Do you agree or disagree with what Naseeruddin Shah just said? Let us know in the comments.