Bollywood actor Vishwa Bhanu has complained that his Muslim neighbours in a Mumbai housing society did not allow him & his wife to celebrate Diwali by lighting up their house or draw rangoli.
The actor lives in a Muslim-dominated society in the Malvani area of Malad suburb of Mumbai. He came on social media to register his protest, even tagging PM Modi in his tweet.
@narendramodi I am living in a muslim society and tonight people of the society stopped my wife from lighting up and making Rangoli to celebrate diwali at my Mumbai residence. They destroyed the lights, broke the wires and the crowd forced me to remove the lights.
— Vishwa Bhanu (@vishwbhanu) October 26, 2019
The neighbours physically prevented the couple from celebrating Diwali – breaking wires, not allowing rangoli just outside their house and forcing the actor to remove the festive lighting. Bhanu said that this is a recurring pattern, and he has been prevented from celebrating festivals like Holi & Diwali in the past as well.
The Mumbai-based character actor from Patna, who works in the Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani-co owned Excel Entertainment, has done roles in movies like Special 26, Toba Tek Singh etc, and also acted in TV serials.
Vishwa Bhanu also spoke up against the intimidation in a Facebook post –
He has lodged a police complaint, accessed by OpIndia, which states –
Like every year, my wife Priyanka Sharma was unable to put up a lantern (kandil), lights and making Rangoli on this Diwali too. Anti-social elements from within the society, Rehan Petiwala, Salim Sheikh and Mustafa Bohra, gathered more people and broke our lights claiming they posed a danger due to current. At every festival, they mock us like this and pass objectionable comments on our Gods and Goddesses. Even though I don’t bother anyone there, on Bakra Eid, they force us to keep our door open and slaughter goats right in front of our house even though there are alternate spots available. But I never said anything thinking it’s their festival. Because we are Hindus, we are mocked, pressurised and a situation is being created to force us to flee the area. People gather to fight & threaten us over petty issues. As I am away for shooting and my wife stays alone most of the time, I am concerned for her safety.”
Going by his previous posts, the actor left no stone unturned in joining his Muslim neighbours to celebrate their festivals like Eid –
However, his gesture of pluralism was not reciprocated. In fact, Vishwa Bhanu has made more startling revelations to OpIndia, such as –
- Women and children were also participating in the harassment.
- Numerous communal slurs were hurled.
- The mob claimed that Hindus mix urine in everything and one shouldn’t eat food at their place.
- Muslims in the locality celebrate their own festivals with pomp and show, loud DJ music etc, but do not permit Hindus to celebrate their festivals.
- Veiled threats are being issued to the actor.
- He is being pressurized to sell his home at a rate below the market price of the plot.
- He is being asked to delete his Facebook post so the issue can be ‘resolved’ and ended.
The pressure being heaped on Bhanu appears to have prevailed, as his last Facebook post says that the ‘matter has been sorted mutually’.
It remains to be seen if any of his Bollywood colleagues, who have been quite vocal in lending support to the ‘Rising Intolerance’ campaign of establishment left-liberals, will come to his support in the face of such brazen intolerance.
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