ISLAMABAD - Well known Bollywood film star Naseeruddin Shah, in a video message released by the human rights watchdog Amnesty India, has said that people in India were being divided in the name of religion and a wall of hatred was being constructed among them. 

He said those, who were raising their voice against the injustice among the members of the society, were being punished. Those fighting for their rights were being arrested.

“Actors, scholars, poets are all being stifled. Journalists too are being silenced,” he said, adding India was awash with horrific hatred and cruelty.

He released the video message after the Indian government’s recent crackdown against non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Naseeruddin Shah said so many innocent people were being killed in India and no one was allowed to talk about them.

“Is this where our country is headed?” he asked. “Had we dreamt of a country where there is no space for dissent, where only the rich and powerful are heard and where the poorest and most vulnerable are oppressed? Where there once was law, there is now only darkness.”

The Amnesty India under the hashtag #AbkiBaarManavAdhikaar said it had seen a tumultuous crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights champions in the country.

“Let’s stand up for our constitutional values this new year and tell the Indian government that its crackdown must end now,” the Amnesty said.

It was recently that Naseeruddin Shah had received intense flak for his statement where he said: “Being a Muslim he fears for his children in India.”

He was speaking in the wake of a mob violence that broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr on December 3 over alleged cow slaughter in the Mahaw village. The violence led to the death of two men, including police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh.

“I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks if you are a Hindu or a Muslim, they will have no answer,” he had said.