Amartya Sen backs Naseeruddin Shah against trolls, says “harassing people is unacceptable”

Supporting Naseeruddin Shah, who was trolled recently for speaking about mob violence and the govt crackdown on NGOs, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said harassing people was unacceptable

PTI photo
PTI photo


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

In a 2.13-minute solidarity video for the human rights watchdog Amnesty, Shah had said on Friday that those who demand rights are being locked up.

According to Sen, many universities in the country are suffering, their freedom and autonomy is at stake and other institutions are also not at ease. He said that people were not tolerating off other people’s opinions and that harassing people was unacceptable.

Asked by reporters on the veteran actor's comments, Sen said, "We must protest against such attempts to disturb the actor... What has been happening (in the country) is objectionable. It should stop." The 85-year-old economist, looking forward to the general election, said: "Even the journalists are losing freedom which is not acceptable. The election is approaching, let's see what happens".

About troll attacks against personalities like Shah, he said, "Losing the ability to tolerate others is a serious cause for concern, it points to the losing of ability to think and analyse." Under the hashtag #AbkiBaarManavAdhikaar, the Amnesty had claimed that India has witnessed a massive crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights defenders.

In his solidarity message in Urdu, 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." Last month, the 68-year-old had said the death of a cow had acquired more significance than that of a police officer in the country.

He was speaking in the wake of a mob violence that broke out in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr on December 3 over alleged cow slaughter in the Mahaw village. The violence led to the death of two men, including a police inspector.

The National Award-winning actor's visit to a literary fest in December was also cancelled following protests by Hindu outfits over his comments on mob violence.

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.

Published: 7 Jan 2019, 2:24 PM