While religion and faith were devised to propagate a message of unity and celebration, more often than not, especially in India, it has become a subject of controversies.
Actress Soha Ali Khan recently got a taste of the bitterness of religion. Muslim by birth, Soha was attacked for celebrating the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Seeking blessings at Andhericha Raja Ganesh Mandal today #Ganpati pic.twitter.com/8div7NkHBD — Soha Ali Khan (@sakpataudi) September 9, 2016
Seeking blessings at Andhericha Raja Ganesh Mandal today #Ganpati pic.twitter.com/8div7NkHBD
— Soha Ali Khan (@sakpataudi) September 9, 2016
And this was not even the first time it happened with poor Soha. She faced the same kind of haters when she visited the Golden Temple just before the release of one of her movies.
At one of the most serene and holy places to receive blessings for our film #goldentemple #amritsar #31stOctober pic.twitter.com/HugnO7mtbh — Soha Ali Khan (@sakpataudi) September 3, 2016
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At one of the most serene and holy places to receive blessings for our film #goldentemple #amritsar #31stOctober pic.twitter.com/HugnO7mtbh
— Soha Ali Khan (@sakpataudi) September 3, 2016
According to Mid-Day, Soha remains unfazed by such offensive attacks and has maintained that her choices are those of her own, and no one has any right to call it right or wrong.
“My religion is my business alone. Whether I choose to do namaz or go to a church, how does it affect anyone? People shouldn’t bother about what’s not their business. I am all for freedom of expression, but being told how going to a temple makes me a non-Muslim is plain callous. No one has the right to say that. I am not a commodity and so, a particular community cannot own me. Our social fabric is so rich because we are diverse. Respect each other’s choices.”
Soha, who is the daughter of late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, has been celebrating festivals such as Eid and Durga Puja with equal enthusiasm since her childhood. She is married to actor Kunal Khemu, who happens to be a Hindu.
”Diwali is celebrated with gusto at my home. That’s the culture India signifies, not the one of hatred that people commenting on my timeline are trying to propagate. I try not to be affected by it and frankly, as long as no one is coming into my private space or harming me physically, I don’t care. But those who are desperate to have an opinion on my life, at least try to have an educated one.”
It’s such a pity that someone needs to explain their choice of celebration. Religious festivities were meant to bring people together, not create such baseless rifts.