Nandita Das Wonders Why People Need To Prove Citizenship Again

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Expressing concern over the direction the country is heading to, actor-director Nandita Das on Friday wondered why people would have to prove again that they are Indian citizens.

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Updated On:
Nandita Das

Expressing concern over the direction the country is heading to, actor-director Nandita Das on Friday wondered why people would have to prove again that they are Indian citizens.

Instead of making the people "file hundreds of forms to prove all over again they are citizens" of the country, issues such as unemployment, farmers' death, economic crisis and environment should have been given priority, said the director of 'Manto', a 2018 film on the life of Pakistani author Sadat Hossain Manto who was born in British India, Das was addressing a session 'Manto & I' at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet'.

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"We don't want to have another Partition, we don't want to divide ourselves on the basis of religion yet again. Had Manto been present today, he would have definitely commented you have learnt nothing from history. After 70 years (of Independence), you want religion as a marker to define yourself!" she said

Pakistan wanted to be the Islamic state at the time of Partition, "while our leaders very wisely decided we are going to have a secular democratic state having equal rights for everyone," Das said. The director of 'Firaaq' said Indian Constitution does not discriminate people on the basis of religion, caste and colour of skin.

The country is facing so many problems like economic slowdown, farmers committing suicide, malnutrition of children, environmental crisis which need urgent attention instead of asking Indians to prove their citizenship again, Das said. "I think many people are speaking up. Even those who are on the fence, not sure which way really to go, have begun to realise that this is not the direction we want," she said.

"Everyone does not have to be an activist or overtly political. A lot of people come to me and say I am apolitical. I don't know what that means. These are times not to keep quiet," Das said.

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