Since the Indian movie ‘Thackeray’ was announced, people have been wondering why Nawazuddin Siddiqui was chosen play the life of late Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray. The debate was not on whether Nawazuddin will be able to do justice to a character like Thackeray, but it was on how makers can select him as he is a Muslim from Uttar Pradesh. Many have turned it into a communal battle as Shiv Sena has been anti-UP and anti-Muslim. And now, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has opened on the same topic. In an interview with Times Now, when asked to comment on the communal backlash he has been receiving for playing the role of Bal Thackeray as he is Muslim to which he said, “Thousands of people will say thousands of things…today every little thing is turning out to become a controversy”.
“Rather than broadening their thoughts, people are making it narrower. I am an actor, I will do any role. And moreover, has anyone tried to see the other side of it? Now, Shiv Sena, their team or Sanjay Raut gave me this role not on the basis of my caste. They didn’t see if I am a Muslim or whatever. They consider me as an artist who can do justice to a character like Balasaheb Thackeray. Why is nobody talking about this? If I am born in a certain community then how am I responsible for that? It’s not something that we get out of choice.” He went on and said that he is proud of who he is and he also said people should appreciate Shiv Sena for having a progressive approach in choosing him to play Balasaheb Thackeray irrespective of his religious background.
“Everyone’s reaction is going to be different because Balasaheb Thackeray was one such personality. Everyone has their freedom of speech and expression, so they can go on..,” he said. Talking about the movie, the same is directed by Abhijit Panse and apart from Siddiqui, the movie also stars Amrita Rao in the lead role. She is playing the role of Thackeray’s wife Meenatai. The movie is all set to release on January 25, 2019.
Published in Daily Times, January 18th 2019.
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