It is rare for film celebrities to take a stand about anything political. And even rarer for something controversial. So when Farhan Akhtar spoke out recently about the lynching of Akhlaq over the rumour that he had eaten beef, people sat up and listened. Here’s what he had to say.
On the night of September 28th, 2015, a Muslim man named Mohammed Akhlaq in the village of Bisara, Dadri, in Uttar Pradesh, was bludgeoned to death by a mob over rumours that he had consumed beef. If one expected a collective gasp to go through the country and people to rise up in arms at this injustice, it did not happen. What followed was an unending parade of politicians to the home of the victim, hollow words of sorrow, and some lukewarm attempts to cool things as communal tensions simmered.
But the silence on the part of India’s intelligentsia was almost deafening. Until actor Farhan Akhtar spoke out – in words uncompromisingly direct and honest – about what he thought of the “kangaroo justice” meted out by a mob gone berserk, the insensitivity of the politicians, the silence of the citizens, and the tarnished legacy of the Mahatma during a time we normally celebrate Gandhi Jayanti.
Here’s what he wrote in his Facebook post:
We thank you for speaking on behalf of all of us, Farhan.