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Nawazuddin Siddiqui's Ramleela performance scrapped as local political party protests

The actor cancelled his performance in the local Ramleela after the protest by Shiv Sena.

Shriram Iyengar

Directors and cinephiles are always ready to lap up a Nawazuddin Siddiqui performance. In his native village though, the actor is not as welcome. Cast as Mareech in the local Ramleela of his village, Siddiqui has had to cancel the show pending protests by the Shiv Sena.

Siddiqui has been taking a break from films, and was persuaded by the Ramleela committee in his village in Budhana, Muzaffarnagar, to take part in the play. The actor, true to his nature, committed to the role and even took part in the rehearsals for the play. The actor seemed excited about the project. Speaking to a national daily, he said, "Usually the entire Ramleela spans across 15-16 days. Nearly 800-1000 people come to watch, I'm looking forward to performing before a live audience. My dialogues are so poetic. I've been practising since morning, I don't think I've worked this hard for a film." Siddiqui was set to play the demon Mareech, who lures Rama away from Sita allowing Ravana to kidnap the queen.

However, the local unit of the Shiv Sena protested the actor's participation. Their point of contention was the case against Siddiqui for allegedly beating his younger brother's wife. To avoid controversy, the actor has cancelled his appearance in the village play. Siddiqui had denied reports of the alleged incident involving his brother's wife. 

The National Award winner was last seen in Sohail Khan's Freaky Ali, and is also working in Rahul Dholakia's Raees opposite Shah Rukh Khan. He has also finished filming for Babumoshai Bandookbaaz and has a cameo in the Sridevi starrer, Mom.