Must protest against such attempts to disturb the actor: Amartya Sen stands in support of Naseeruddin

‘Losing the ability to tolerate others is a serious cause for concern, it points to the losing of ability to think and analyse,’ said the 85-year-old economist.

Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen came out in support of actor Naseeruddin Shah on Sunday, who recently landed in controversy with his remark on mob violence and appearance in a video for the Amnesty India against alleged government crackdown on NGOs. Sen said attempts were being made to “disturb” the actor.

In a two-minute solidarity video for the human rights watchdog, Naseeruddin Shah had said that those who demand rights are being locked up.

Talking about the veteran actor’s comments, Amartya Sen said, “We must protest against such attempts to disturb the actor. What is happening (in the country) is objectionable. It should stop.” The 85-year-old added that many other institutions in the country were also under attack.

“Losing the ability to tolerate others is a serious cause for concern, it points to the losing of ability to think and analyse,” he added.

Using the hashtag #AbkiBaarManavAdhikaar, Amnesty had claimed that India has witnessed a massive crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights defenders.

In his solidarity message in Urdu, Naseeruddin Shah had said, “Artistes, actors, scholars, poets are all being stifled. Journalists too are being silenced. In the name of religion, walls of hatred are being erected. Innocents are being killed. The country is awash with horrific hatred and cruelty.”

After the killing of a cop in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr in December, the 68-year-old actor had said the death of a cow had more significance than that of a police officer in the country.

His visit to a literary fest thereafter was cancelled following protests by Hindu outfits over his comments on mob violence.

(With inputs from PTI)