News Karnataka
Saturday, December 10 2022

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui forced out of Ramleela show by Shiv Sena

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Budhana: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, one of the critically acclaimed actor, who rose to fame with his interesting role in Salman Khan starrer ‘Bhajrangi Bhaijan’ was forced out of the Ramlila at his hometown in Uttar Pradesh allegedly by the Siv Sena activists.

According to reports, Siddiqui had approached the Ramlila troupe during a trip home. He wanted to play Maarich, a demon whose wish was to die at the hands of Lord Ram, the hero of the epic traditionally performed on stage during the Dussehra festival. On Thursday, he had shared a video in which he tosses out animated, high-pitched dialogue while rehearsing a scene from the Ramlila. He was also seen in full costume.

The buzz over his role as Maarich was circulated through WhatsApp in the village. However, hundreds were disappointed on Thursday when it was announced that Siddiqui’s act has been cancelled. One of the organisers said that the Shiv Sena activists had opposed the act and said that they would not allow “anyone with the name Nawazuddin to be part of Ramlila”.

Siddiqui was quoted in a news channel, “There were some technical issues. I got the order that I should not do it as it was important to maintain peace in the village.”

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav reacted sharply for blocking the actor and said, “Artistes have no religion. They have talent and that is how they play roles. We should steer clear of such people (protesters). There are people who try to take the discourse to a different direction.”

A senior police officer has offered to give him protection to the actor.

The Ramlila of Budhana is over 100-year- old and is a big production involving over 100 actors and technical staff. It is among the countless big and small productions seen in north India starring a medley of performers including Muslims, though not in the lead roles.

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