Muslim actor Nawazuddin forced out of Ram LeelaArchive
NEW DELHI: Amid growing pressure by the Hindu right to isolate Muslims from Hindu festivals, Indian movie actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui was forced by the Shiv Sena to pull out of a Ram Leela show, reports said on Friday.
Siddiqui, a critically acclaimed actor, said he hopes to be a part of the annual stage drama next year.
Currently in his village Budhana in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, Siddiqui said he was very excited to perform at the Ram Leela, especially because it was being staged in his hometown.
But he was asked to pull out of the play after members of the neo-fascist Shiv Sena reportedly raised objections.
Reports said the decision to force him to leave the role followed police warnings that they would not be responsible if things went out of control if Siddiqui were to go on to play the role. TV clips shot showed him as dressed to play the role of Maareech, an uncle of demon king Ravana.
Maareech turns into a golden stag and as Ram sets off to hunt the man disguised as a deer, Ravana moves in to kidnap Sita from her forest hut.
“My childhood dream could not come true but I will definitely be a part of Ram Leela next year. Check the rehearsals,” Nawazuddin tweeted on Thursday night.
The star also shared a video rehearsal of his role.
Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2016