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I’m Angry, I refuse to be scared.  

I’m Angry, I refuse to be scared.  

 By Ayushi Gupta

I’m Angry, I refuse to be scared.

                                                   ---  Naseeruddin Shah

 

Freedom of speech is our fundamental right,

Though daunting it is if used it wise,

Perils of danger are for awhile,

Death for the later overrides,

Scared or angry is the question that arise,

The dilemma is, do we have our fundamental rights upright?

 

Naseeruddin Shah is a prominent actor in Indian cinema industry. He has received prestigious awards like Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. He is also known for his interest in the literature. In a recent release of his book “Naseer-Ka-Najeer – Aur Phir Ek Din” which is a  Hindi translation of his book “And Then One Day” there was an outrageous reaction by the right wing organizations. He had to skip the Ajmer Literature Festival (ALF) due to the act of hooliganism by the members of BJP Yuva Morcha.[1] In an interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India[2], Naseeruddin shah made remarks on the terrors of communalism and how darkness has overshadowed the law and order of our country. He also expressed his fear for his children for not knowing the religion as he believes, good or bad has nothing to do with the religion you belong. Furthermore, he also enunciated an incident of mob lynching happened in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr. I quote, “Death of a cow is given more importance over killing of a police officier.”[3] On December 3, an incident was reported of mob violence due to cow slaughter that took place in mahaw village. It caused killing of 2 men which also included the police inspector. The Uttar Pradesh police and chief minister Adityanath kept of reiterating that, the probe to investigate the cow slaughter is to be concerned with rather than killing of a police officer. The tyranny of the ministers was showcased by shah’s statement which turned out heat in the right wing organization and in response to that naseeruddin shah was called a “traitor who should be sent back to Pakistan.”[4]

Are our fundamental rights bared by the opinions of the people in power? Is the power of immunity hiding the culprits behind the curtains of their acts of violence? Are we the concerned citizens of our nation not entitled to speak about our fears? Leaders we elect are by the process of democracy but the power these leaders exercise is communalism. And we are not suppose to open our mouth because either we will be regarded as a traitor or we might be bombed? Our Constitution is greeted with derision by our own law keepers and we still tend to choose to be silent or condemn others who are fearlessly speaking our hearts out. BJP MLA of Uttar Pradesh Vikram Soni said in an interview, “They are traitors who say we are not safe and must be taken to task. My personal view is that those who say they feel unsafe and threatened in India should be bombed, give me a ministry and I will bomb all such people, not even one will be spared. Such people who don't feel safe should go to a place where they feel safe."[5] We say we live in a democracy. Though the traits of democracy seems to be blurred by the layers of violence, communalism, mob lynching and the list goes on. The only hope left behind is us and we are in a race of being politically correct. Aren’t we the traitors?

Naseeruddin Shah goes on further saying that, “The poison has already spread and it is difficult to put this jinn back into the bottle.” Also, “I want every right-thinking person to feel angry and not scared. This is our home. Who can dare to evict us from here?”[6] All he did was manifest his concerns towards the nation and the future of his children which we all at some point of time feel but are scared to say aloud. Everyday news that is forecasted brings chill in our spine as to where our nation is headed to? What will be the outcome of the growing violence in the community? Will there be an end to it or will we be forced to leave our country? Minorities in India are targeted now and then and are alleged to be anti nationals. This phenomenon has to be put an end to and this will only result by speaking about the situation and bringing into limelight those population who suffer this trauma and are threatened to leave India. We must not be scared to speak out rather be angry for the situation and come out stronger. Freedom of speech is our constitutional right and it cannot be hindered by the rule of power. The answer to the interview of naseeruddin shah should have been a concern for the government of India but rather it was seen through the lenses of politics. Intolerance in India is the matter of concern. The faith of the society in law is guided through the Constitution of India which gives us our fundamental rights and we are entitled to it. If our rights are intervened or infringed upon, our faith in law will be directly hampered. It is a need for an hour to exercise the rights enshrined in the Constitution and not to fear for the consequences that overrides. We need to stop the spreading of the  poison before poison is all over the population. No one can dare to evict us from the country we live, especially the ones who are product of our votes and are so called in ‘power.’ We live by our Constitution of India and nobody can take that away from us.

 

 


[1]Times of India, “ Naseeruddin Shah launched book at undisclosed place in Pushkar “, 23rd December 2018.

[2] Youtube, “Karwan-e-Mohabbat India,” 17th December 2018.

[3] Ibid.

[4] The Wire, “Death of a Cow Has More Significance Than That of a Police Officer: Naseeruddin Shah,” 20th December 2018.

[5] Republic Tv, “SHOCKING: 'Will Bomb People Who Say They Feel Unsafe & Threatened In India', Says UP BJP MLA Congress Seeks His Arrest”, 9th January 2019.

[6] Youtube, “Karwan-e-Mohabbat India,” 17th December 2018.

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