Naseeruddin furious with division being created on basis of religion
“Love jihad’ is a tamasha in Uttar Pradesh. I don't think that anyone would be so stupid to actually believe that Muslims will overtake the Hindu population, it is unimaginable. For that, Muslims will have to have so many babies. So, this whole notion is unreal”
Mumbai: Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has expressed concerns over the divide being created in the country between Hindus and Muslims in the name of love jihad.
The 70-year-old actor made the comments in a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India, shared on its YouTube channel on Sunday. "I am really furious with the way divisions are being created, like the love jihad tamasha in UP. Firstly, the people who coined this phrase don't know the meaning of the word jihad. "I don't think that anyone would be so stupid to actually believe that Muslims will overtake the Hindu population, it is unimaginable. For that, Muslims will have to have so many babies. So, this whole notion is unreal," Shah said in the interview.
The "Bandish Bandits" actor believes the term "love jihad" stems from the idea of stigmatising inter-faith marriages and stop social interactions between Hindus and Muslims. "They not only want to discourage inter-faith marriages but also curtail social interactions between Hindus and Muslims," he added.
Shah, who is married to theatre-film actor Ratna Pathak Shah, said he always believed that his marriage to a Hindu woman would set a "healthy precedent". "We have taught our children about every religion. But we have never told them that they belong to any particular religion. I always believed that these differences would slowly fade away. I believed that my marriage to a Hindu woman would set a healthy precedent. I don't think this is wrong," he said.
The actor said when he was about to tie the knot with the Ratna Pathak Shah, his mother had asked if he would want his would-be wife to convert to his religion and his answer was no.
Shah said even though his mother was uneducated and was brought up in an orthodox household, she was completely against the idea of changing one's religion. "My mother who was uneducated, brought up in an orthodox household, prayed five times a day, observed Roza all her life, went for the Haj pilgrimage, she said, 'The things that have been taught to you in your childhood how can that change? It is not right to change one's religion'," he said.
"This is not the world I had dreamt of," he added. In a 2018 interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Shah had said that at many places the death of a cow is being given more importance than the killing of a policeman. The veteran actor had also expressed anxiety over the well-being of his children, who he said have not been brought up as followers of any particular religion.