Forget Bollywood, Modi-Shah have split homes and friendship, says Anurag Kashyap

In a candid interview to journalist, editor and TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai, the film director accused the Modi Government of surviving by constantly creating enemies and manipulating narratives

Forget Bollywood, Modi-Shah have split homes and friendship, says Anurag Kashyap
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An unusually outspoken Anurag Kashyap (47), film director and writer, blames the Government for dividing citizens into patriots and traitors. There are only two groups of people for the Government, he told Rajdeep Sardesai on India Today TV, the Deshdrohis (traitors) and Deshbhakts (patriots). “Whoever agrees with them is a patriot and whoever questions them is dubbed a traitor,” he said.

Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have accorded legitimacy to ruffians and motivated them to take on the so-called ‘enemies’ of the nation within the country. These ruffians, he said, are so excited and so willing to engage in violence that they genuinely believe that they are fulfilling a national service by beating up students, intellectuals, Muslims and other critics of the government.

Who are the Deshbhakts and citizens, he asked, only those who blindly follow the Prime Minister and the Home Minister? Only those who listen to the two and applaud? Kashyap wondered how a Home Minister could repeatedly invoke the spectre of ‘urban Naxals’ and ‘Tukde-Tukde gang’, which ‘had no meaning’.

Asked to comment on a large number of Bollywood actors supporting the Government, Kashyap replied that it did not bother him. “The problem is not that they have a different opinion; I can differ with Anupam Kher or Vivek Agnihotri and can still have a civil discussion; but the problem is when no criticism is allowed, no questioning is allowed,” he quipped.

Referring to a large number of Bollywood personalities not attending the dinner for them hosted by the BJP, Kashyap pointed out that not attending the dinner was also a statement. “People may be silent but they do talk, they do discuss…they may not have reached their limits of tolerance but I have,” he added.

Should everyone only listen to the Prime Minister’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and ask no question? Why do the Prime Minister and the Home Minister not take unscripted and unvetted questions? Why don’t they address proper press conferences and answer questions?

Would he accept a private, dinner invitation from the PM or the Home Minister, Sardesai asked. Kashyap replied that he was suspicious of private dinners, dinners about which you get to know ‘after they are over’. He would, however, be happy to attend public dinners with cameras recording the event and with other people present.

Accusing the Government of encouraging a culture of ‘fear’, the acclaimed director claimed that even supporters of the Government were always warning him to be careful every time he stepped out.

He confessed that he felt relatively safe because of his privileged status and also because he was in Maharashtra, which is no longer ruled by the BJP. “You think I would be safe anywhere else,” he asked.

Somebody had to speak out and he could not remain quiet after seeing the violence unleashed in Jamia and JNU.

He sounded a note of caution and pointed out that a solitary soldier had triggered the events in 1857. One policeman or a soldier may decide one day that he would not turn against fellow citizens, he warned.

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