A group of 49 celebrities across all professions in the likes of Bollywood celebrities, theatre artists and historians wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming intolerance in the country under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, the letter was hit by a counter two-page document written by 63 celebrities claiming 'selective outrage and false narratives' against the 'intolerance' letter.
And now amid the controversy, Indian film director Shekhar Kapur hit out at the 'intellectuals' stating that he had come to India as a refugee of partition and has always lived in the fear of them. "They made me feel insignificant. Small. Then suddenly embraced me after my films. I still fear them. Their embrace is like a snake bite", read an excerpt from his post.
Started life as refugee of Partition. Parents gave everything to make a life for kids. Was always in fear of ‘intellectuals’. They made me feel insignicant. Small. Then suddenly embraced me after my films. I still fear them. Their embrace is like a bite of snake. Still a refugee.— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) July 27, 2019
However, the tweet irked popular lyricist Javed Akhtar who demanded to know the names of the 'intellectuals' and stated that he needs to seek help from a professional. "Who are these intellectuals who embraced you and you found that embrace like a snake’s bite? Shyam Benegal , Adoor Gopal Krishna , Ram Chandra Guha? Really? Shekhar saheb you are not well. You need help. Come on, there is no shame in meeting a good psychiatrist", read an excerpt from his post
What do you mean by still a refugee Does it mean that you feel like an outsider n not an Indian n you don’t feel that this is your motherland .If in India you are still a refugee where will you not feel like a refugee ,In Pakistan? Cut this melodrama you poor rich but lonely guy— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) July 28, 2019
You introduce yourself as neither prejudiced by the past nor afraid of the future living in this moment and in the same breath you say you are a refugee of partition and still a refugee . One doesn’t need a magnifying glass to see the contradiction .— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) July 28, 2019
A group of celebrities and socialities had come forward in support of the government and written a letter against selective outrage and false narratives. The signatories of the two-page document include celebrities across all professions in the likes of Bollywood, theatre, professors, and artists. Addressing the prior 'intolerance' letter written to the Prime Minister, the counter document addressed the Forty-nine celebrities as self-styled “guardians” and “conscience keepers” of the nation with selective concern and claimed that they have demonstrated clear political bias and motive.
Listing twelve flashpoints that the former letter's signatories have strangely kept quiet on, the 2-page document also states that the 'intolerance' lobby did not display the courage to stand beside women who are struggling against the regressive Triple Talaq tradition and that they choose to speak up only on 'selective issues'.
The 49 celebrities have in their letter demanded the stop of incidents of 'lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities, citing NCRB reports. They have also demanded immediate action against those propagating religious identity-based hate crimes. They have asked in their letter as to what action has been taken. "What action has been actually been taken against the perpetrators? We strongly feel that such offences should be declared non-bailable, and that exemplary punishment should be meted out swiftly and surely."'
Get the latest entertainment news from India & around the world. Now follow your favourite television celebs and telly updates. Republic World is your one-stop destination for trending Bollywood news. Tune in today to stay updated with all the latest news and headlines from the world of entertainment.