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Zinia Sen | TNN | Kolkata | Oct 2, 2017:: At a time when Kolkata was busy soaking up the festive fun, two of our actresses were targeted by an actresses were targeted by an internet mob for celebrating what else but Durga Puja! Jaya Ahsan ( in Dhaka) and Nusrat Jahan ( in Kolkata) were in for an unpleasant surprise when their posts and photos were stalked and picked on by trolls. The actresses, however, were far from ruffled. Both gave fitting replies and also enjoyed Puja as per plans.On Sashthi, Nusrat uploaded a video to spread festive cheer.
In two days, her social media accounts were swamped with unsavoury comments. On Ashtami, she decided to respond and uploaded a post on Twitter that read: “We are all human beings, until race disconnected us… religion separated us… politics divid ed us and wealth classified us.
People have become educated, have not become human… If u say I am not religious… I believe I am a humanists first… because human beings are more important than dogma and traditions… let’s b human first, preach love and respect, not reli gion… !! (sic).
Nusrat, wh thoroughly enjoyed her Durga Puja with friends and family , said, “It just shows that some people are not as secular as I am. Frankly , I had a great time -I offered anjali on Ashtami and went pandal-hopping. Also, my post is straight from the heart, I feel nothing more or less than what I have already written.”
Jaya’s Facebook profile was also inundated with abusive comments on two occasions during Puja -when she uploaded a picture with her mother on Nabami and captioned it as: “Amader barir Dugga Pujo te ami ar maa” and when she uploaded an album called Bishorjon with behind-the-camera stills of her, during the shoot of Kaushik Ganguly’s film of the same name. The actress told us from Dhaka, “The picture with my mother was clicked at the Puja in our residential compound. This is where 300 people of different religions happily co exist -it’s a mini Bangladesh.We celebrate Puja in a big way .Only today , I posted a picture of `Muharram-er khichuri’ that my mother prepared. Before I was awake, she divided the khichuri into small portions so that it could be sent to the houses in our neighbourhood. We don’t send the khichuri only to Muslim families, but also to Hindus.Likewise, we send halwa to everyone on Shab-e-Barat. Those who are on social media and have an easy access to internet don’t know much about my country .And because they lack education, they are not aware of Islam. As per Islam, a rich man and a fakir are supposed to read namaz together and eat from the same plate on Eid. Islam unites, it doesn’t divide.” Jaya added that across the globe, Muslims are getting targeted and such incidents are a reflection of the boiling anger among the masses.”Muslims are often held synonymous with terrorists and that’s another reason why they are venting their anger at soft targets like actors,” she reasoned.
The incidents of religious intolerance is on the rise, said Mir. The anchor-actor was trolled twice in the past year. “In December last year, I posted a picture of my family and wished everyone Merry Christmas.That’s when I was told that I shouldn’t be celebrating other festivals as it’s un-Islamic! Again, this year, on Eid, I was on the receiving end of trolling when I uploaded a selfie with my father after our namaz at Tipu Sultan mosque and wrote, ” Aamar Abba, Aamar Allah”, comparing my father to the Almighty . Those who didn’t understand the meaning, thought I was calling my father Allah!” he recalled. About the recent incidents, Mir said people are going red in the name of religion everywhere in the world. ” At a time when we should be focusing on issues like food for everyone, better health and hygiene, free education for the underprivileged, we are only concentrating on religion. Also, celebbashing has become the national sport of every country . Those who have a mobile phone and have access to cheap data, log in on social media and wait to pick on celebs as if they are catching fish,” he said. Mir added that even those who do not have valid bank accounts, have FB accounts and more and more youngsters are brainwashed into becoming religious fanatics. “It’s the elderly people who are expected to be orthodox, but those who are reacting so sharply on FB are mostly high school dropouts. And they are irrational. If Nusrat’s film is titled Bolo Dugga Maiki, she can’t possibly be calling it Allah Hu Akbar, right?” he retorted. Fans, he said, are welcome, but celebs can do without fanatics.
Pic. Support: Susmita Bhattacharia.