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Indian Muslim actor kicked out of Hindu play

MUMBAI: Far-right nationalists forced Bollywood star Nawazuddin Siddiqui to pull out from “Ramlila”, a theater play that was to be staged in a Hindu festival, “because he is a Muslim”. Some members of Shiv Sena opposed the idea of “a Muslim actor going on stage in a Ramlila”, a play based on the Hindu religious epic Ramayana and performed...

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 7, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Oct 7, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago
Indian Muslim actor kicked out of Hindu play

nawazuddin

MUMBAI: Far-right nationalists forced Bollywood star Nawazuddin Siddiqui to pull out from “Ramlila”, a theater play that was to be staged in a Hindu festival, “because he is a Muslim”.

Some members of Shiv Sena opposed the idea of “a Muslim actor going on stage in a Ramlila”, a play based on the Hindu religious epic Ramayana and performed across India.

The Shiv Sena is known for threatening and resorting to violence to push its agenda.

The dramatic folk re-enactment of Hindu god Ram’s victory over the 10-headed demon king Ravana celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

Villages across India stage their own performances, and spend a long time rehearsing and preparing for the event.

Siddiqui was going to perform the “Ramlila” in his village Budhana in northern Uttar Pradesh state. The actor, owing to the threats, withdrew from the performance minutes before he went on stage.

“In the 50-60 year history of the Budhana Ramlila, no Muslim artist has set foot on the stage. We couldn’t allow that now. It’s about tradition,” Shiv Sena member Mukesh Sharma told The Times of India.

Siddiqui has said, however, that he is confident of performing in the “Ramlila” next year.

The critically acclaimed actor has worked in more than 50 films since he joined the film industry in 1999. Siddiqui wanted to play the character of Maarich, the demon whose wish was to die at the hands of Lord Ram, the hero of the epic traditionally enacted during the Dussehra festival.

But Sena didn’t approve of this idea. “We won’t allow anyone named Nawazuddin to participate in Ramlila. In this Ramlila’s 50-year history no one named ‘din’ has played any role,” said local Sena leader Mukesh Sharma.

Taking notice of the issue, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said, “Artistes have no religion. We must avoid elements that are trying to take the discourse in a different direction.”

The Shiv Sena party was founded in 1966 to keep south Indian migrants out of Maharashtra state and to halt the spread of Islam.

Over time, it has acquired a reputation for promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism while allegedly targeting minorities, especially Muslims. – SAMAA

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One Comment

  1. amjad ali mumbai india  October 17, 2016 5:59 am/ Reply

    What else can you expect from barbarian hindus. It’s time india was partitioned again. It clearly has not learnt anything from the previous partition in 1947.. it was this kind of behaviour that ked to muslims unwilling to live with hindus.

    This time we will partition india again and again until there is nothing more left. .

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