Amartya Sen Backs Naseeruddin Shah Amid Row Over Amnesty Video

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Nobel laureate Amartya Sen

“We must protest against such attempts to disturb the actor. What is happening (in the country) is objectionable. It should stop,” The 85-year-old economist said and added that many other institutions in the country were under attack.

KOLKATA (PTI) — Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Sunday came out in support of actor Naseeruddin Shah, who recently landed in controversy with his remark on mob violence and appearance 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 two-minute solidarity video for the human rights watchdog, Naseeruddin Shah had said that those who demand rights are being locked up.

Asked about the veteran actor’s comments, Amartya Sen said, “We must protest against such attempts to disturb the actor. What is happening (in the country) is objectionable. It should stop.” The 85-year-old economist added that many other institutions in the country were under attack.

“Losing the ability to tolerate others is a serious cause for concern, it points to the losing of ability to think and analyse,” he added.
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 messsage in Urdu, Naseeruddin 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, after the killing of a cop in in UP’s Bulandshahr, the 68-year-old actor had said the death of a cow had more significance than that of a police officer in the country.

His visit to a literary fest in December was also cancelled following protests by Hindu outfits ober his comments on mob violence.

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