Even as he vouched support to the ongoing farmers’ protest, cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s father Yograj Singh drew flak for his recent speech at the Delhi border. While a section of social media users slammed him and demanded his arrest for making ‘disparaging comments about the Hindu community’ and ‘inciting communal passions’ through his address, the cricketer-turned-actor has been criticised from all quarters for his derogatory remarks about women. In a video that has gone viral since his speech last week, Singh is seen saying, “Inki aurate take-take ke bhaav pe bikti thi.”
The incident has led to his ouster from The Kashmir Files, where he was to play a significant role opposite Anupam Kher. “His recent speech was misogynistic. It wasn’t about the religion of the women; his narrative was hateful and divisive. My film is about the Hindu genocide in Kashmir. It doesn’t make sense for me to have someone in the film who propagates the idea of dividing society on the basis of religion,” says director Vivek Agnihotri.
The director, who is filming the project in Dehradun with Kher, reveals that a termination letter was sent to Singh two days ago. “We haven’t received a response and we don’t care for one either. I make films with a larger purpose, and Singh’s bigotry can’t become a part of my telling. I have never spared a thought about an artiste’s political beliefs.
In The Tashkent Files , I had cast Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Tripathi, both of whom differed ideologically from me. Different ideologies don’t necessarily imply that we can’t work together. But here, [I had to take a stand as] it became anti-women,” adds Agnihotri. Puneet Issar has replaced Singh in the film.
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