Yesterday, actress Deepika Padukone came out in support of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui who was forced to drop out of a Ram Leela programme last week. In response to the turn of events, she said that society needs to be more sensitive and inclusive. Siddiqui had to pull out of the Ram Leela in his hometown of Budhana in Uttar Pradesh after members of Shiv Sena raised objections.
Shiv Sena district head Mukesh Sharma said he had approached the police and asked the committee to drop Nawazuddin from participating in the show. “For over 50 years, no Muslim has been a part of the production. Why should this be allowed now? We went to the police and our members went around town to spread the word and urge people to stop this,” he said.
The actor then tweeted his dismay at not being able to fulfill his ‘childhood dream’:
My childhood dream could not come true, but will definitely be a part of Ramleela next year.
Check the rehearsals. pic.twitter.com/euOYSgsm3F
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) October 6, 2016
I got lot of support by the Ppl of my Village, Police & Admin but only after understanding the situation, I decided to maintain PEACE.
— Nawazuddin Siddiqui (@Nawazuddin_S) October 7, 2016
When asked to comment on the issue, Deepika Paduokone said, “I think as a society, in general, we need to be more inclusive and sensitive to people and situations.” The actress also said that as celebrities it is difficult for them to voice their opinions.
I spoke to @Nawazuddin_S ji to convey that the Party does not endorse the reason why he was prevented from acting in Ramleela in UP.
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) October 10, 2016