It was just another day in the life of Naseeruddin Shah, when he sat down for an interview and had absolutely no trouble speaking his mind. “Anupam Kher is a clown… he doesn’t need to be taken seriously. Any number of his contemporaries or classmates from NSD and FTII can attest to his sycophantic nature… it’s in his blood,” Shah said when asked about his actor colleagues supporting the CAA legislation. This was only a few minutes after Shah unleashed another one of his stingers – “it’s not surprising that the PM has no empathy or compassion for the students, considering he’s never been a student himself.”
Talking about CAA, the government’s attitude towards the protests, Shah expressed bewilderment at the state of affairs. Shah didn’t hold back about criticising the government’s contempt for the student and the intelligentsia. “For someone who never had intellectual pursuits of their own… this doesn’t seem very surprising”.
Kher, Shah’s contemporary and junior at NSD, replied with an equally caustic video. “In spite of all the success that you’ve seen in your career, you’ve spent a majority of your life being frustrated. You’ve criticised the likes of Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna and Virat Kohli…then I’m sure in great company. Nobody takes you seriously either because we all know that such comments are a direct consequence of the ‘substances’ that you consume.” Kher seems to be indicating towards Shah’s use of marijuana, something Shah has never tried to hide from the public eye.
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— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) January 22, 2020
This is exactly when the spat begins to resemble a conversation in a WhatsApp group, where neither of the uncles want to back down… even for an inch. It’s unfortunate on Kher’s part to bring up Shah’s use of recreational drugs, after his pride was seemingly hurt because of Shah calling him out. Shah attacked Kher’s sycophantic tweets about Kashmiri pandits, and how he constantly uses it to justify any violence against Indian Muslims.
Mr.Naseeruddin Shah, you are an ungrateful man. This country gave you all the name, fame and money. Yet you are a disillusioned man. You married outside your religion. No one ever said a word. Your brother became Lt.General of the Indian Army. Have you not been given more
— Governor Swaraj (@governorswaraj) January 22, 2020
Swaraj Kaushal, the husband of the late Sushma Swaraj, relayed a series of tweets defending Anupam Kher and attacking Shah on a variety of accounts. In the tweets, Swaraj attacks Shah for being an ungrateful man, and implies that he’s unhappy in spite of being allowed to ‘marry outside his religion’, and ‘his brother becoming the Lt General of the Indian Army’. Over here Swaraj Kaushal quite clearly ‘others’ Shah, identifying him as a Muslim… other than a Hindu citizen of India.
It seems like both sides could have been a bit more restrained. As for Kher and Swaraj Kaushal, they could have both been less petty and a bit more righteous in their rage.