After 26/11, the Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na director who made the brotherly 'jadoo ki jhappi' a passion statement after writing Munnabhai, feels a never-before sense of belonging in a city that has never been ravaged. "Frankly, considering the immensity of the attack this time, I as an Indian Muslim felt scared. I thought there would be a backlash. But call it the power of unity during crisis, not one voice of dissent against the Indian Muslim was heard in the entire city. Not once have I felt accusing eyes looking at me."
Abbas feels it was very important for Indians to recognize the difference between Islam and terrorism. "And the latest attack on Mumbai has clearly brought out the difference, clearly shown us that the right-thinking Indian Muslim is not a terrorist. That Hindu or Muslim, we're all united against the fight against terrorism," says Abbas who has been married to a Hindu girl for two years.
"My family and I have lived in Mumbai for fifty years. My father has never hurt a fly. Neither do I think have I. At this time, when Mumbai has gone through its worst attack ever, it was very important for me to feel a sense of absolute identification with the mainstream. Otherwise can you imagine how much they'd have celebrated in Pakistan if communal riots had broken out in our country after 26/11? Thank God we didn't give them the pleasure of celebrating from now till the New Year."
Abbas feels it's time Pakistan acknowledged itself as the harbourer of terrorism. "Let them come out in the open and say they've nothing to do with these people who infiltrate our peace and then leave these terrorists to be dealt with by us. Or otherwise let Pakistan deal with its own terrorism and let's deal with our own. But please let's stop pretending about where these attacks are originating."