New Delhi [India], Jan 4 (ANI): Days after triggering a controversy by speaking about his concerns over his children's safety in India, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has now alleged that "the country is awash with horrific hatred and cruelty."
His latest comments came in the form of a 2.14 minute video uploaded by the Amnesty India on its official twitter handle on Friday.
In the video, Shah is heard alleging that artists and actors were "being stifled" and "journalists being silenced."
Speaking in Hindi, Shah says, "In the name of religion, walls of hate are being erected. Innocents are being killed. The country is awash with horrific hatred and cruelty."
He goes on to allege that "..those who stand against this injustice are having their offices raided, their licenses cancelled, their bank accounts frozen, their voices silenced."
Amnesty India, along with the video, posted a tweet, which read: "In 2018, India witnessed a massive crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights defenders. Let's stand up for our constitutional values this new year and tell the Indian government that its crackdown must end now."
In 2018, India witnessed a massive crackdown on freedom of expression and human rights defenders. Let's stand up for our constitutional values this new year and tell the Indian government that its crackdown must end now. #AbkiBaarManavAdhikaar pic.twitter.com/e7YSIyLAfm— Amnesty India (@AIIndia) January 4, 2019
Earlier in December, Shah had triggered a controversy by his comments made in a video.
"At many places, the death of a cow is being given more importance than the killing of a policeman. I feel anxious for my children because tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks, 'Are you a Hindu or a Muslim?' they will have no answer. It worries me that I don't see the situation improving anytime soon," the actor had said then.
After the controversy erupted, he had clarified, "I have made the statement as a worried Indian and I have previously also done so. I don't know for what reason I am being branded as a traitor."
Talking about the release of the video on Friday and its timing, Amnesty India head Aakar Patel said, "It may seem that the odds are against human rights and civil society in India at this moment, but human rights have always won and will this time also. The arc of the moral universe is long, as Dr Martin Luther King said, but it bends towards justice."
In October last year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had raided Amnesty India's headquarters and Patel's residence in Bengaluru for allegedly receiving Rs 36 crore foreign funds from overseas in violation of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) guidelines.
"The widespread crackdown on civil society organisations and human rights defenders by the government of India must end immediately," Patel said in comments made available to ANI through the Amnesty India spokesperson.
Amnesty India thanked Naseeruddin Shah for "standing up" in solidarity for the countless brave human rights defenders and said Shah continued to fight for justice, liberty, equality and dignity for all "despite being attacked, demonized and harassed."
Shah was not available for comments. (ANI)