Actor Shabana Azmi on Tuesday said all fundamentalists are “mirror images of each other”. This came days after Azmi received mixed responses after she had said that if anyone criticises the government they are called anti-nationals.
Azmi questioned the uproar over her remark, which she had made while addressing a gathering in Indore on July 6, where she was recognised for her work on women’s empowerment.
“So much uproar over my one remark?” the actor tweeted. “Didn’t realise I was so important in the eyes of the right wing. Muslim fundos [fundamentalists] also passed fatwa against me 4shaving my head for @IamDeepaMehta film ‘Water’ 2which @Javedakhtarjadu response on record was SHUT UP. All fundos r mirror images of each other.”
She also pointed out that her father, Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi, had returned his Padma Shri award when the Congress was at the Centre. She said he protested against a Uttar Pradesh minister who had said that those asking for Urdu to get second-language status “should be paraded on a donkey with their faces blackened”.
Actor Swara Bhasker came out in her support, and said that it was shameful how people were criticising Azmi. “It is shameful how an artist of the profile and calibre of Shabana Azmi ma’am is being relentlessly targeted with fake allegations by people who have not contributed 1/100th of what she has to modern Indian popular culture and discourse. More power to you ma’am,” Bhaskar said in a tweet.
On Monday, Union Minister Giriraj Singh had called Azmi the “new leader of tukde tukde [a group of people deliberately trying to divide India] and award wapsi gang”.
On Saturday, Azmi had said any attempt to divide people was not good for the country, without naming any specific political party or ideology.
“It is always necessary that we point out flaws for the betterment of our country,” she had said. “If we do not, how will we bring improvement? But an atmosphere is building in which if we criticise the government, we are called anti-nationals. We should not be afraid, nobody needs their certificate.”