New Delhi: Reacting to the growing controversy over insult to the Prophet of Islam by BJP's suspended spokesperson Nupur Sharma, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take concrete steps to “stop the poison”.
While speaking to NDTV channel, Shah termed the disciplinary action taken by the BJP as “too little too late” as it took 10 days for the party leadership to take notice of the issue and crack a whip on its spokesperson who made the objectionable remarks against the Prophet Muhammad on a TV debate.
The veteran Bollywood actor has appealed to the Prime Minister to step in and speak strongly against the “poison of hate” that is swallowing the country. “I would appeal to the PM to knock some good sense into these people. If what he believes is what was said at the (Haridwar) Dharma Sansad, he should say so and if not, he should say so," Naseeruddin Shah told NDTV in an interview.
He added that, “I wish that the hatemongers that the PM follows on Twitter…He has to do something. He needs to step in to prevent the poison from growing.”
It may be noted here that during the TV debate on the ongoing Gyanvapi Masjid row, Nupur Sharma had made objectionable comments against the Prophet Muhammed. In a communication sent to Nupur Sharma from the party's disciplinary committee said, she has expressed views contrary to the party's position on various matters, which is in clear violation of its constitution.
The objectionable comments made by the BJP leader has received diplomatic backlash and official protests from at least 15 nations, including Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, Iran, Jordan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Maldives, Libya and Indonesia.
The BJP-led government, attempting to defuse the anger of Muslim countries, said the comments reflected views of “fringe elements”. However, Naseeruddin Shah didn’t seem to agree with the government’s stance.
“The lady is not a fringe element. She is a national spokesperson,” Naseeruddin Shah said.
The renowned actor said part of the problem is news channels as they contribute to the hate talk. “The hate is manufactured and it is a venom that spews when you are confronted with an opposing view. TV news and social media are responsible for this,” he added.
Meanwhile, the suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma has been booked for her remarks on Prophet Muhammad during a television debate. A case has been registered at the Pydhonie Police Station area in Mumbai under sections 295A, 153A, and 505B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after a complaint by Raza Academy for her "remarks on the Holy Prophet of Islam on a National channel", news agency ANI reported.