Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s childhood dream of playing a role in Ramleela in his native place in Budhana, Muzaffarnagar was shattered as he had to opt out of Ramleela due to Shiv Sena activists’ protests. Shiv Sena apparently didn’t want a ‘muslim man’ to play a role in Ramleela!
Nawazuddin shared his disappointment on his facebook profile and also shared a video of the rehearsals. He wrote, ‘My childhood dream could not come true, but will definitely be a part of Ramleela next year.’ In the video, Nawazuddin can be seen rehearsing his lines with his co-actors and is even seen in a costume for the role of ‘Maarich’, Raavan’s maternal uncle.
After Shiv Sena activists started shouting, Nawazuddin quietly left the venue. On his facebook profile he explained the reason as he wrote, ‘I got lot of support by the People of my Village, Police & Administration but only after understanding the situation, I decided to maintain PEACE.’
Interestingly, many Ramleela shows across Uttar Pradesh consist of Muslim actors. While in Sultanpur, a Muslim family has organized Ramleela for over 100 years, in Lucknow, a Ramleela show that has run for 45 years, stars Muslims in the lead roles of Ram, Laxman and Raavan.
Here’s the video and the message which Nawazuddin shared on his facebook profile.