Yesterday, Anupam Kher tweeted out a link to a PTI article carried by DNA, which claimed that Naseeruddin Shah may have taken a dig at his fellow actor.
The headline of the article read: "Person who never lived in Kashmir has started a fight for Kashmiri Pandits: Naseeruddin Shah on Anupam Kher."
Here's what Shah allegedly said: "A person who has never lived in Kashmir has started a fight for Kashmiri Pandits. Suddenly, he became a displaced person." PTI claims he not only said this, but also aimed the same at Anupam Kher, though the agency doesn't say that Anupam Kher's name was mentioned by Shah.
An enraged Anupam Kher tweeted the following:
Shah Saab ki Jai Ho. By that logic NRI's should not think about India at all.:) Naseeruddin Shah on Anupam Kher https://t.co/UtQrtZ66we— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) May 27, 2016
And thus began, what media houses have promptly labelled a 'spat' between Shah and Kher.
Now, according to ANI, Naseeruddin Shah has denied making any such statement.
I have not said any such thing, this is all misreporting :Naseeruddin Shah on his statement on Anupam Kher pic.twitter.com/8mNABd6cHc— ANI (@ANI_news) May 28, 2016
And ANI, apparently verified with Anupam Kher, who seems to have clarified to the agency that he had a word with Shah where he denied saying any such thing.
I contacted Naseeruddin Shah,he has denied making such statements: Anupam Kher to ANI— ANI (@ANI_news) May 28, 2016
He(Naseer) told me when I have never said all this for so many years then why will I say now?: Anupam Kher to ANI— ANI (@ANI_news) May 28, 2016
When this copy was being filed, Kher himself had issued no such clarification on his own Twitter timeline. The last tweet on his timeline was a retweet of a Madhur Bhandarkar tweet saying everyone has the right to campaign for Kashmir.
However, as soon as Kher tweeted out the DNA link, the tweet went viral, garnering at least 1,000 retweets. And with it, obviously, came the backlash against Shah.
While Kher himself didn't say anything further, he went to on retweet a slew of tweets responding to Shah's alleged comments. Some drew a parallel with reports of Shah signing a mercy plea for Yakub Memon.
Anupam Kher shouldn't fight for KP rights as he never lived there, OTOH Nasiruddin Shah signed Yakub's mercy petition as he was his relative— Comrade Trump (@sailorsmoon) May 28, 2016
While others, by the likes of CBFC's Ashoke Pandit, launched a vicious attack on everything from Shah's contribution to the country, to cinema. Here's a compilation of Pandit's tweets against Shah:
Ashoke Pandit went to the length of questioning Shah's education. Yes, he did go there. And Kher, retweeted the tweet.
In January this year, Kher appeared on a TV show where he urged the country to help Kashmiri Pandits get justice. The Pandits were violently hounded out of the state through the late 80s till the early 90s.
In April this year, when violent clashes broke between non-Kashmiri students in NIT Srinagar and Kashmiris, Kher attempted to go to the college. However, he was stopped at the airport and sent packing home from there, leading to another controversy.