Naseeruddin Shah, who was trolled on Twitter for his comments during the book launch of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, today said he does not need to justify his patriotism to anyone.
The 66-year-old actor said he was left "dejected" with the way the incident was reported as the "pertinent points" raised by other intellectuals who were present at the event was ignored but what he said was picked on and "misstatements" were made.
"My name is Naseeruddin Shah and I believe that's why I was targeted. If it had been something else, perhaps what I said wouldn't have made so much news...," Shah told India Today TV.
"The hate mongers are unfortunately having a field day and they are in a position that their voices can be heard. They are in a position to manipulate news. I do not need to justify anything. I do not need to prove my patriotism to anybody," he added.
According to the actor, he did not understand how anything said in praise of Pakistan can be anti-national.
"I only received love and regards when I've been to Pakistan... As if that is an anti-national statement, I do not understand why anything said as a compliment to Pakistan must be construed as anti-Indian.
"If I say that Imran Khan is a great cricketer, does that imply that Sunil Gavaskar is not?"