Indians being brainwashed into believing Pakistan is the enemy: Naseeruddin Shah

The veteran Indian actor speaks about his recent tour to Pakistan

Entertainment Desk March 24, 2015

On his return to India after a successful tour to Pakistan, veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah expressed regret at the animosity towards Pakistan prevalent in his home country.

Naseeruddin Shah was in Pakistan in February to promote his book And then one day: A Memoir. He also graced the Lahore Literary Festival and conducted a theater workshop at the Karachi Arts Council to a packed audience.

In an interview to entertainment website Bollywood Hungama, Shah said, “It is tragic that often-times performers from Pakistan are prevented from performing in this country. Recently, there was a very disturbing instance of a Pakistani artiste's work being destroyed in Ahmedabad. But they welcome us in Pakistan with open arms.”

He stressed the need to keep political differences between the two countries aside. “I keep going to Pakistan because I feel it is very important to have a person-to-person contact. We can't afford to be swayed by all the political rhetoric. Politicians will change colours whenever it suits them. Indians are being brainwashed into believing Pakistan to be the enemy country without being aware of the historical background.”

He further added that Indians need to look beyond the political animosity. "I'd make a very strong appeal for that. And this has nothing whatsoever to with my being Muslim. What can we possibly gain from this form of ragging that we practice against Pakistan? It is a bully's way of asserting himself. They are next door neighbors.”

Mentioning the love and regard for Indians in Pakistan, the actor said, “The tragedy of the political divide between the two countries is symbolical. It should go. That would never happen until we travel to Pakistan more often and interact with the local people. There is a great deal of curiosity and admiration in Pakistan for what India has achieved.”

He added, “They love me unconditionally in Pakistan. They are nuts about our stars like Salman and Shah Rukh. But I also sense a reverent affection in Pakistan for actors like me, Om Puri and Farooq Sheikh. I feel very special in Pakistan.”





Melange | 6 years ago | Reply He is right about the fact that politicians stir up hatred in the people. This happens in India, in Pakistan, in China, in the US, in Syria, everywhere in the world. However, I do not agree when he says Indians are brainwashed. There are over a billion Indians with different cultures, languages, faiths and backgrounds. Surely, not all of them are brainwashed. Unless Mr.Shah is the only intelligent non-brainwashed Indian capable of thinking on his own (If this was the case, then India is in trouble!!). What people like Shah do not understand or choose to ignore is that the distrust for Pakistan comes not just from modern history of war and terrorism, but mainly from 400 years of Muslim invasions and brutalities in the sub-continent. Add to that, the reluctance of many Indian muslims to integrate into the mainstream in spite of great efforts from governments and society. This is not limited to the sub-continent either. It can be seen in several countries with Muslim minorities. There is a lot of progress in this regard though and I'm very happy about it.
KRISHNA KUMAR | 6 years ago | Reply Mr.shah, You can forget the carnage of Mumbai, but we ordinary people cannot.So dont give sermons about being brainwashed, we know whom to love and whom to hate
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