The late politician Sushma Swaraj’s husband, lawyer and former Mizoram governor Swaraj Kaushal, has written a Twitter thread in defence of the actor Anupam Kher, who was recently called a ‘clown and sycophant’ by fellow actor, Naseeruddin Shah.
Shah in an interview to The Wire had said that any of Kher’s contemporaries from FTII or NSD could attest to his ‘sycophantic nature’. Kher in response to Shah’s comments had said in a social media video that Shah was perhaps speaking under the influence of ‘substances’.
Kaushal in a series of tweets on Thursday wrote that as a contemporary of Kher, he could confirm that the actor ‘is an honest, upright and a self made man.’
The lawyer continued, “When he would go up the stage, the audience was transformed into another world. He was a star, but down to earth. I know many people of his time. The stardom did not go to his head… The man has not forgotten his roots. He has not left his people.”
Making a reference to Kher’s claims that he is a Kashmiri Pandit refugee whose family was driven out of the state during the insurgency of the 90s, Swaraj continued, “Is he not entitled to weep out his pain?”
Addressing Shah directly, he added, “You think you are a better actor than Anupam Kher? You are sadly mistaken. Mr Naseeruddin Shah, you are an ungrateful man. This country gave you all the name, fame and money. Yet you are a disillusioned man. You married outside your religion. No one ever said a word… You speak of apathy and discrimination. When you do all the blabbering, it is your ‘conscience’. When Anupam speaks his pain on being declared homeless in his own country, it is ‘sycophancy’.”