Hindus are no bigots. The very reason that different cultures and communities prospered in India is because of the tolerance of Hindus. From Jews and Zoroastrians, From Muslims to Christians everyone found home and livelihood in India.
And when a certain political party that claims to be the sole custodian of Hindu rights and Hindutva drives out a Muslim from a Ram Leela show, the Hindu in me gets terribly agitated. Shiv Sena may be pursuing Hindutva agenda but they do not represent Hindus like us.
I am talking about Shiv Sena – NDA ally and self-styled custodian of Hindutva. Their bigotry hit its zenith when, Nawazuddin Siddiqui was forced to pull out of a Ram Leela that was supposed to be held in his hometown Budhana in Uttar Pradesh.
I went through a video which he posted on twitter. He can be seen rehearsing and practicing dialogue in full costume.
My childhood dream could not come true, but will definitely be a part of Ramleela next year.
Check the rehearsals. pic.twitter.com/euOYSgsm3F
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) October 6, 2016
Nawazuddin is currently vacationing in his hometown. He got in touch with the local Ram Leela committee to be a part of the production.
Nawazuddin says “Ever since I was a child I wanted to be part of Ram Leela, even the people in the town were very excited, but around 6 pm yesterday I was told I can’t participate. I accepted the decision,” Quote Credit – Indian Express
Nawazuddin is among the finest talents we have in Bollywood. In his short career, he is being hailed as one of the best ever. All that without having a godfather in Bollywood.
He has never been the one to resort to playing the victim when Industry A-listers like Saif and Shahrukh have. When the entire industry was going gaga about the alleged intolerance in India, Nawaz maintained a safe distance and a graceful silence. And not to forget how he was one of the very few actors who donated generously for the victims of Uttarakhand Flash Flood Victims.
And has Shiv Sena forgotten that Nawazuddin supported the banning of Pakistani actors?
Oh! and frankly speaking, how many Bollywood actors have performed in local Ram Leelas? Hindu Actors included.
And let us talk about Lord Ram. Lord Shri Ram is called the Dharma Purush, someone who was steered by the laws of ethics all through his life. Rightly called the Maryadapurushottam, Shri Ram is someone who followed a strict code of conduct in every facet of his life. Ram’s best friend was Nishadraj Guh. Shri Ram gave Nishadraj Guh a seat in his royal court. The fact that Ram was the scion of Ikshvaku Vansh and a noble prince by birth and that Guha was a tribal never crossed his mind.
Kevat was a sincere devotee of Shri Ram. He belonged to the caste of boatmen, considered lowly by the standards of that era. Shri Ram embraced Kevat in his arms and granted him Mukti from material world.
Ram had no qualms in eating half eaten berries of Shabri – a low caste woman who was censured and derided by other Rishis of the forest she lived in.
Shri Ram never failed in challenging the dogmas and myths. No religious, caste or ethnic group can claim proprietorship of Ram. The very essence of Ramatva is equality, inclusion, acceptance and egalitarianism. Shri Ram is for everyone who believes in equality.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui too has the right to Ram Bhakti and no Shiv Sena can deny him of that. This is a despicable episode and it needs to be condemned from all quarters of Polity and society. Hope BJP discipline their allies for this heinous act. And Nawaz Bhai, we are genuinely sorry.