Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar and actor Ashutosh Rana and have come out in support of their industry peer Naseeruddin Shah after his remarks on the deteriorating law and order situation in the country. While Rana emphasised that no one should be put should be put on social trial for speaking their mind, Bhandarkar claimed that everyone has a right to express their views in a democracy.
Rana and Bhandarkar’s support for Shah came after the veteran actor expressed concerns over how “the death of a cow has more significant than that of a police officer” and how he did not see “the situation improving anytime soon”. “In many areas, we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significant than that of a police officer,” Shah said while referring to the Bulandshahr violence where a policeman lost his life to mob fury over alleged cow slaughter earlier this month.
Urging that one must ponder over Shah’s statement rather than merely reacting on it, Rana said, “Everyone has the right to share his/her views. If someone speaks his mind in the country, does that mean there should be a social trial? We should seriously listen to him/her instead.”
The actor was addressing the media in the national capital last week when he added, “If someone is speaking his mind and there is a debate, will it improve the country’s economic situation.”
Speaking on similar lines, Bhandarkar said since we live in a democratic country, “everyone has a right to share their thoughts”. “Everyone has the right to speak. We live in a democratic country. I don’t think there is any fear. Everyone is equal in India and this is his point of view. This is the special thing about our country that everyone can express their opinions,” the 50-year-old said.
However, the filmmaker added: “I don’t think there is any problem or intolerance.”
Last year, Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar, which was set in the backdrop of the 1975-77 Emergency, had drawn the ire of Congress leaders who had claimed that the film had portrayed the leaders in a bad light. This year, the filmmaker had a question party chief Rahul Gandhi after the latter dismissed demands to censor Netflix’s Sacred Games over alleged negative references to father Rajiv Gandhi.
Tweeting out a video of purported Congress workers staging protests and threatening him ahead of the release of his movie back then, Bhandarkar had said, “Dear Rahul Gandhi ji, here is a compilation of the harrowing experience I had when your party workers tried to police & control my FOE during my film #InduSarkar. I was hounded at various cities to 5-star hotel to the censor board office. I requested for your support but u didn’t.”