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Naseeruddin Shah and wife Ratna Pathak in Ajmer. Image Credit: PTI

Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah on Friday skipped the Ajmer Literature Festival due to protests by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and other right wing associations over his earlier statements about the socio-political state of India.

In a TV interview, Shah had said that he fears for his children in this country.

“In some areas killing of a cow receives more importance than lynching of a police officer,” he said.

However, the Bollywood star told the media that he loves the country he resides in.

“What mistake did I make by expressing my thoughts?” he asked.

Police officials in Ajmer confirmed that right wing demonstrators protested against Shah. However, no complaints have been lodged.

Asked about being slammed for saying that “poison” has spread in Indian society, Shah told the media: “I don’t know why because what I said was from the point of view of a worried Indian, and I have said it before also. I don’t know this time what did I say to be labelled a traitor? It’s strange.”

The Congress on Thursday endorsed Shah’s views, while BJP representatives have called it a promotional stunt.

“If they have the right to criticise, so do I. I am raising a concern about my nation, a nation I love and live in... I am talking about that and expressing my concern. So what wrong am I doing?” he added.

Asked if he has ever faced any Hindu-Muslim clash, Shah, a Muslim who is married to actress Ratna Pathak Shah, a Hindu, said: “No”.

His comments about his concerns regarding his children and the current socio-political state of the country feature in a video interview with Karwan-e-Mohabbat India. It was shared on its YouTube channel earlier this week.