Naseeruddin Shah says Akbar never attempted to start new religion: ‘Read about this in books, absolute nonsense’

Naseeruddin Shah says Akbar never attempted to start new religion: ‘Read about this in books, absolute nonsense’

Actor Naseeruddin Shah recently said that his understanding of Mughal emperor Akbar changed after signing up for upcoming show Taj: Divided By Blood. He talked about some misinformation around Akbar, including one that he was a ruler who wanted to start his own religion–Din-e-Elahi. The actor said he checked with historians about the claim and called it ‘nonsense.’. Also read: Naseeruddin Shah says Mughals’ contribution to India can’t be denied

Naseeruddin plays the role of Akbar in Taj. Directed by Ronald Scalpello, the show also stars Aditi Rao Hydari, Dharmendra, Taha Shah Badussha, Sandhya Mridul and Shubham Kumar Mehra in key roles. Touted to be inspired by true events, it revolves around Akbar and the blood battle between his sons for the Mughal throne.

Talking about the show, Naseeruddin Shah recently pointed out the misinformation about Akbar. He told Indian Express, “My understanding initially was that of any student who studied history in the 50s or the early 60s, just in the wake of independence when the influence of British was still very strong. We had Irish teachers, English instructors. The picture drawn of Akbar was always that of a benevolent, kind hearted, broad minded, progressive ruler. The one fly in the ointment being his desire to start a new religion. We read about this in history books, which is absolute nonsense.”

“I have checked this with authoritative historians and Akbar never did attempt to start a new religion. This is a fact which was in our history books called the Din-e Elahi. But Akbar never used the word Din-e Elahi, ever. He called it Wahdat-e Elahi, which means oneness of the creator. That no matter who you worship, in what form you worship him, you’re worshipping the creator. You may worship a stone, you may worship a crucifix, you may bow your head to the Kaaba, you may worship the rising sun and do what you like, but you are worshipping one and the same thing. That was his belief. This is what I found out,” he added.

The senior actor also said that the root of such ‘misinformation’ was related to the term–Din-e-Elahi which was coined because of historian Abul Fazal who didn’t like Akbar. He said it was one of the discoveries he made and later discussed it with the writers of the show. “Luckily, my objections were upheld,” he also said.

Taj is a 10-part family drama series. It is set to release on Zee5 on March 3. Naseeruddin Shah was last seen in Kuttey, alongside Arjun Kapoor and Tabu.

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