MUMBAI: Actor Emraan Hashmi would have never thought that buying a house close to his parents would be such a difficult task. He was in for a rude shock when he was denied the right to buy the house on the grounds of him being a Muslim.
The actor was refused an apartment by Pali Hill’s Nibbana Co-Operative Society and asked, albeit politely, to go and look somewhere else. The actor has filed an official complaint with the State Minorities Commission demanding immediate action against the society officials as he feels it’s because of him being a Muslim.
The State Minorities Commission’s vice-chairman Abraham Mathai has confirmed that Hashmi had filed a complaint saying the society had refused to give him a no-objection certificate even after he had paid the token amount of Rs 1 Lakh. The commission has sent a summons to the society asking for an explanation on the matter. Hashmi says, "My parents went to meet society members last week with the seller and broker. Society however told them that they were busy and refused to meet them. I found it really offensive. The seller has now informed us that the society will not give us an NOC and it has blocked the sale. I have been extremely hurt by this incident and will make sure that I get justice"
However this is not the first time such an incident has taken place, in the past veterans like Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar and even Aamir Khan have been refused houses in Juhu and Lokhandwala just because of their religion.
However the housing society’s secretary says that he received a letter last week from Hashmi’s but no decision was taken as the chairman of the committee wasn’t present at the time. The society claims, "There is no ban on Muslims in our society. We know all Muslims are not terrorists and we have people from all over the country and from different walks of life staying here".
Film producer Mahesh Bhatt has condemned this incident and says, "Nobody has any right to refuse anything to anybody on the basis of religion. We live in a democracy and everyone has the right to reside wherever he wishes to. Whatever the facts maybe, it is indeed terrible to see that in spite of all the exposure and education these people must have received, the fact of the matter remains that they have different rules for different religions."