Friends close to Emraan Hashmi insist he will fight out the issue to its bitter end, no matter how isolated he may be in his battle to prove that sections of supposedly progressive metropolitan Mumbai practice religious segregation.
Says a source very close to Emraan, "He moves around with a lot of security. It's a precautionary measure. Emraan has filed a complaint with the minority commission. It will come to its decision today, the 10th August. Until they do, he's in danger. Emraan is not really troubled. His house IS looking like a fortress. The police complaint doesn't deter Emraan at all. It's an age-old ploy to silence you. No one can accuse Emraan of inciting communal disharmony. Religious discrimination in buying and renting property has been going on for a very long time. No one talked about it openly. It's a sensitive issue." Now the people who denied Emraan property are tripping over changing their statements repeatedly. "They said he was kept out because Emraan was serial kisser. For some reason they also made up an absurd allegation that Emraan's parents barged into the office of the property dealers. Emraan's parents had taken a proper appointment and gone and they were treated badly. They were told the housing society people were busy. Emraan was enraged because his parents were badly treated. He had earlier bought an apartment in 2007 in Pali Hill. But there was no such problem. This was his first real encounter with discrimination."
Now the people whom the actor was trying to buy property from have buckled under. Says Emraan's friend, "The prospective property seller now says he doesn't want to sell. But for Emraan it is no longer about personal hurt. He's standing up for an issue. People have accused him of doing this to gain publicity. Let them say what they like. He has no releases in the next few months. Emraan doesn't care what the cynics say."
About the lack of support from within the industry, Emraan's friend says, "He wasn't expecting any real support. Javed and Shabana have spoken on it. Also, Saif, Emraan didn't raise his voice hoping to get support. Emraan is prepared to take the issue to its logical issue. He hopes people will no longer keep quiet about being denied property in spite of being law-abiding citizens and paying taxes."
For Emraan the issue has become much larger than a personal one. Says Emraan, "The problem of being denied property on grounds of religion is prevalent all over the country. Now so many Muslims have come forward claiming the same. And mind you, I know religious profiling works both ways. I know of Muslim colonies where Hindus are not allowed to stay. I spoke out as a segregated citizen, not a Muslim. I want all discrimination in property allotment to go. Otherwise why do we call ourselves a democracy?"
Emraan hopes more voice to be raised against discrimination. He's shooting for Ekta Kapoor's Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. The shooting doesn't stop.
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