New Delhi: Veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah, who was trolled on Twitter for his comments during former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book launch two days ago, on Wednesday, said he was targeted for being a Muslim. He said he was proud to be an Indian and he would not allow anybody to question his patriotism.
Expressing his dismay over the controversy that has erupted over his participation in the event in Mumbai on Monday, the actor said it was the first time that he was reminded of his Muslim identity.
“My name is Naseeruddin Shah and I believe that’s why I was targeted. It really pains me to say this. I have never ever been aware of my identity until now,” the 66-year-old actor told a TV news channel.
The book launch was attended, among others, by noted lawyer and historian A G Noorani, journalist Dileep Padgaonkar and Shah, who were panelists at the event. The book was launched amid strong protests by Shiv Sena.
When asked about his view on writers returning their awards protesting against what they believe is a climate of rising intolerance in the country under the present central government, Shah said, “I wish that the protest had been made through their work. I wish those writers, instead of returning their awards, had written more strongly on what is happening to India in protest.”