New Delhi: Actor Naseeruddin Shah has said that he fears for his children in a country where the life of a cow is more important than the life of a policeman. His brother and former Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah agrees with him.
Excerpts from an exclusive interview with News18.com’s Eram Agha.
Q. Your brother said that he feels scared for his children as life of cow scores over the life of policeman. Do you feel the same?
A. I come from an Army background so I can say that I have nothing to fear but I am thoroughly disgusted at the state of things — the madness unleashed by politics of polarisation has to stop. It is not just about the Bulandshahr incident. There have been other incidents as well where perpetrators of crime have not been punished or arrested. I find it impossible to believe that the police is not arresting the perpetrators of violence.
Q. What is the fallout of the politics of polarisation?
A. There has been communalisation of police all over the country. This is something which is more dangerous that we have to deal with. I do hope other services don’t suffer the same, but the condition in police force is hopeless. The concern is that we don’t live in the same conditions in which we lived just few years ago. Today, it is totally polarised. And this is harmful for the rest of the country. How do you think it will function with one organ of the body not functioning? That one organ is 14% population of the minorities which is being subject to atrocities. Minorities are more vulnerable in cow politics.
All these crimes are being filmed and shared on social media. It is providing amusement to people. Social media has become a menace and is being used to spread poison. We are concerned with the politics of polarisation and the abuse of social media to spread the venom. You see, it takes three generations for people to forget any atrocity.
Q. The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, said ‘it is a political conspiracy’…
A. These are all lame excuses from him for not accepting the criminality. All these statements are being made to ward off allegations of incompetence by his administration. He no longer mahant. He is also the chief minister of the most populous state in the country and should work for all sections of the population. He should not restrict his view to the temple. This is the way he is looking at his new role. He has a tunnel view. He has certainly not followed the tenets of the leader.
Q. Also Aligarh Muslim University, where you served as the Vice Chancellor, has been in controversy. There was an uproar over Jinnah portrait…
A. These are political stunts of Aligarh MP Satish Gautam. But today the students are determined to not to succumb to such pressure of politics of polarisation. In my time, the BJP MP raised the question over celebration of Raja Mahendra Pratap anniversary in AMU. He created a controversy but I kept the channels of communication open to be able to resolve it. People don’t realize that Aligarh Muslim University is a modern, secular university, where admissions are not on the basis of religion. We have a mix of students who are happy being there. By creating controversies over its history, people want to give it a bad name.