| Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui outside the RJD office on Wednesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
He has been a don, an IB officer, and even a ghost. But interviewing seasoned politicians is what actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui feels was a tall order in his career.
A trip to Patna for a television series by a satellite channel changed the 39-year-old actor’s perception of politics. Siddiqui enacted a journalist’s role on Wednesday but not for reel.
At the RJD office, as soon as party chief Lalu Prasad rose from his chair and started walking towards his swanky SUV, the Gangs of Wasseypur star thrust a microphone at the former chief minister and asked: “You are not contesting the elections. How does it feel?”
Lalu, who apparently didn’t recognise the Kahaani star and thought he was a journalist, replied: “Hum sab jagah se ladh rahe hai. Sab communal takaton ko dhwast karna hai. (I am fighting from everywhere. We will demolish all communal forces).”
Many in the RJD office, who had recognised the father-turned-ghost of Aatma, were surprised to see the actor donning a scribe’s hat.
During a short chat with The Telegraph, the actor said that meeting Lalu was exciting.
“He seems to be a nice person. I was impressed with him during the short interaction I had with him. I don’t know much about politics but the task I have undertaken (for the channel) is challenging and exciting,” he said.
The actor is on a tour of five cities as a reporter-cum-anchor for a television series. He was in Patna as part of the show. “I travelled to Jaipur, Lucknow and Varanasi during the shoot. Patna was my fourth stop. I will be heading to Delhi from here. I met (Rajasthan CM) Vasundhara Raje, (UP chief minister) Akhilesh Yadav, BJP president Rajnath Singh, Lalu Prasad, Ram Kripal Yadav and actor Shatrughan Sinha for the show,” the actor from Uttar Pradesh said.
He added that his stay at most of the places was a pleasant experience.
“I came to know a lot of politics and the ongoing activities during the election season. I have asked the political stalwarts many questions and got interesting replies. I asked Laluji how he was feeling as he is not at the centre stage of politics. He replied in his usual impressive style,” the actor said.
During the day, Nawaz met common people of Patna and was also trying to meet Lalu’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti till the filing of the report.
Hailing from Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, which had recently witnessed communal violence, Siddiqui had asked Akhilesh some tough questions.
“I asked him the reason behind his family not giving him a free hand now, unlike earlier, after he was made the chief minister. I also asked him whether the communal tension in Muzaffarnagar would be an advantage for the BJP and not the Samajwadi Party.”
The Talaash actor said after he asked Akhilesh the question, the CM said he (the actor) seemed to be a pessimistic person.
“I have realised that the job of journalists is challenging. I had been to Patna University too, as part of the show. Politics, too, is a tough job. I hope people come out and vote in large numbers in the coming elections,” he said.