Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Sunday came out in support of actor Naseeruddin Shah and said that attempts were being made to “disturb” him, PTI reported. Last week, Shah appeared in an Amnesty India video and expressed concern about “walls of hate in the name of religion” and an increasing “crackdown” on freedom of expression in the country.

Speaking about Shah’s earlier remarks, Sen said there must be “protests against such attempts to disturb the actor”. “What is happening [in the country] is objectionable,” said the 85-year-old economist. “It should stop.”

“Losing the ability to tolerate others is a serious cause for concern, it points to the losing of ability to think and analyse,” Sen said, adding that several institutions in the country were also under attack.

The Amnesty India video came weeks after Shah had faced outrage from right-wing organisations for saying he felt anxious for his children in present-day India. He had expressed worry that the death of a cow was given more importance than that of a police officer today – a reference to an inspector’s killing in mob violence in Bulandshahr last month.

Shah’s visit to a literary festival last month was also cancelled after Hindu outfits protested against his comments on mob violence.