New Delhi: Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah’s keynote address at the Ajmer Literature festival was cancelled on Friday evening amid protests by right wing groups regarding his recent comments remarks on mob violence. The 68-year-old actor was supposed to deliver the keynote address of the fifth edition of the three-day literature festival.
The actor was in the centre of a major controversy over his remarks in reference to the killing of a policeman in Bulandshahr earlier in December. He said the death of a cow was being given importance over killing of a policeman.
Defending his remarks, Shah questioned, “What I said earlier was as a worried Indian. What did I say this time that I am being termed as a traitor? I am expressing concerns about the country I love, the country that is my home. How is that a crime?” asked Shah.
Before the event, many right-wing activists protested outside the venue, one protester also hurled black ink on the poster of Shah.
Coordinator of the festival Raas Bihari Gaur, said, “Shah was scheduled to inaugurate the festival but he did not come because of the protest by some locals over his comments.”
In the interview, the actor had expressed concern over the well-being of his children, who he said have not been brought up as followers of any particular religion. He said the “poison has already spread” and it will now be difficult to contain it.
“It will be very difficult to capture this djinn back into the bottle again. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands. In many areas we are witnessing that the death of a cow is more significance than that of a police officer,” added the veteran actor.