Actors face harassment if they speak up, he says
Naseeruddin Shah has stated that Indian government is encouraging, financing and “promising clean chits” to top Bollywood filmmakers for propaganda films.
“They are being encouraged by the government to make pro-government films, to make films lauding the efforts of our beloved leader,” Naseeruddin said in an interview with NDTV. “They are also being financed, also promised a clean chit if they make movies which are propaganda, to put it bluntly.”
Naseeruddin has been in the headlines after his remarks on the Taliban stirred controversy. Some sections of Indian Muslims celebrating the Taliban’s return to power are no less dangerous, Naseeruddin had said. He was attacked online for his statements. He has admitted, however, that “celebration” might not have been the right word.
The actor said that he has no proof, but big-ticket films with jingoistic agenda paint a clear picture of political influence in the industry.
According to Naseeruddin, there is no outright bigotry in Bollywood, but actors face harassment if they speak out and this is the main reason why “the Khans” have chosen silence.
“They [the Khans] are worried because of the harassment they face,” he said. “They have so much to lose. It’s a question of their entire establishments getting harassed.”
Naseeruddin has not faced discrimination in the industry. “I am not worried about myself, I am worried about the kids.”