Naseeruddin Shah's Keynote Address at Ajmer Lit Fest Cancelled Amid Protests by Right-Wing Groups
The right-wing group held protest demonstrations outside the venue.
File photo of actor Naseeruddin Shah. (Image: Twitter)
New Delhi: Actor Naseeruddin Shah's keynote address at the Ajmer Literature festival was cancelled on Friday evening amid protests by right wing groups in the wake of his recent comments about the state valuing the life of a cow more than that of a policeman.
Before the event, many right-wing activists protested outside the venue. One of the protesters also hurled black ink on the poster of Shah.
“Shah was scheduled to inaugurate the festival but he did not come because of the protest by some locals over his comments,” said Raas Bihari Gaur, coordinator of the festival. He was also scheduled to launch his book in the opening session, which was also called off due to the protests.
The actor had expressed anxiety over the growing mob violence in a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, which the organisation shared on its YouTube channel on Monday.
In the interview, the actor expressed concern over the well-being of his children, who he said have not been brought up as followers of any particular religion.
Shah said the "poison has already spread" and it will now be difficult to contain it.
"It will be very difficult to capture this djinn back into the bottle again. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands. In many areas we are witnessing that the death of a cow is more significance than that of a police officer," he added.
On December 3, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a youth, Sumit Kumar, were killed in mob violence in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district after cow carcasses were found strewn around.
Defending his remarks, Shah asked why was he being called a traitor for asking questions about the country he lives in.
"What I said earlier was as a worried Indian. What did I say this time that I am being termed as a traitor? I am expressing concerns about the country I love, the country that is my home. How is that a crime?" asked Shah.
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