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. 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.
The critically-acclaimed performer said he feels saddened to see the harassment young couples are facing these days in the name of “love jihad”.
“This is not the world I had dreamt of,” he added.
Source: Free Press Journal