Bollywood legend actor Naseeruddin Shah and several other celebrities, writers, and authors have signed a open letter against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
More than 300 prominent individuals including independent film director Mira Nair, Javed Jafferi, authors Kiran Desai and Anita Desai have released a statement expressing support for the students protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.
The statement goes, “We are artists, filmmakers, writers and scholars. Our work reflects people’s lives, struggles and hopes. We offer our dreams to everyone. But what dream can show us the way in the midst of the present nightmare? Our vision for this nation demands that we speak up now, in the name of our democracy and the constitution that protects it.
“We stand in solidarity with the students and others who are protesting and speaking out against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and against the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“We salute their collective cry for upholding the principles of the Constitution of India, with its promise of a plural and diverse society. We are aware that we have not always lived up to that promise, and many of us have too often remained silent in the face of injustice. The gravity of this moment demands that each of us stand for our principles.”
READ MORE: Naseeruddin Shah says he cannot live in India as a Muslim
Naseeruddin Shah had recently spoken regarding Deepika Padukone’s decision to stand with the protesting students of a renowned university in New Delhi.
He said, “It’s understandable why the established figures of the industry don’t speak up. However, one wonders how much do they have to lose? Will it kill you? You have to laud the courage of a girl like Deepika (Padukone), who is at the top and yet takes a step like this.”
The 69-year-old award-winning actor has expressed disappointment over the current situation in India, saying that after 70 years he has started to realise that he cannot stay in India as a ‘Muslim’.
Naseeruddin Shah said that even after 70 years, he needs to prove that he was a ‘Muslim’ as well as an Indian and his evidence should not be denied.
“If living 70 years here and doing whatever I could does not prove me to be in India, I don’t know what does,” says Naseeruddin Shah. “I am not afraid, I am not anxious, I am angry.”
Shah is not just one of the best actors in India, but someone who does not hesitate to express his views on current issues. He said that he now fears for his Muslim identity and is worried at the same time.
The actor said that he and his family did not think that it was difficult to remain Muslim in India till now, but now they have realised that they cannot remain in India as ‘Muslims’.