Manisha terms reports of naming dog 'malicious'By Subhash K Jha, Indo Asian News Service
Manisha Koirala, upset at reports that she had named her dog 'Mustafa', denies owning a canine pet and has termed the allegations 'false', 'malicious and ugly'.
'I don't have a dog, let alone a dog by that name. Am I mad to do such an ugly and sacrilegious thing? I come from a family where we were taught to love and respect every community and religion. Disrespecting another human being, let alone another person's religion or culture, is alien to me,' says the indignant actress.
'I had no dogs in my home for two years, and the ones that I had were named Tanya and Tweety,' Manisha told IANS in an interview.
'I haven't had any dogs staying in my home for two years.'
Q: You seem to have got yourself into a bit of a jam over your dogs' names?
A: Trouble...that's me! Wherever I go I am followed by trouble. I can't understand why I'm always singled out for controversies! This latest one just takes my breath away. Because it's so false and so malicious and ugly.
Q: You mean you haven't named your canine Mustafa?
A: I don't have a dog, let alone a dog by that name. Am I mad to do such an ugly and sacrilegious thing? I come from a family where we were taught to love and respect every community and religion. Disrespecting another human being, let alone another person's religion or culture, is alien to me.
I am a Hindu and a Nepali by birth. But I am as Indian as anyone else in this country. And I believe in all the secular values that Indian democracy is famous for.
Q: But where and how did this story come from?
A: Listen I may be crazy. But not that crazy. I'd never call my dog by that name. When I read this hideous error in the paper I laughed it off, thinking it was just a printing error. I had gone for an election campaign to Nepal. And my mind was totally focused on that. I came back to Mumbai. And I had this huge problem waiting for me. The police inspector came home to see if I had dogs staying with me. I haven't had any dogs staying in my home for two years.
Q: You actually had the cops inspecting your home?
A: Not just once, but twice. There is a police officer staying in my building who had already informed the cops that I had no dogs in my home for two years, and the ones that I had were named Tanya and Tweety.
Q: Tanya and Tweety?
A: That's what they were called. And that was two years ago. How the names got changed in print is beyond me. I don't understand why this trivial story has been made into such a massive problem. Even the person who wrote it must have thought it's just one of those easy-come-easy-go stories that are forgotten the day after publication.
Q: It seems someone is trying to cash in on your name by proving you non-secular?
A: That's how it seems. I have never had any problem with any individual or community. I believe the newspaper and the writer who wrote the story have clarified. But there's a lot of trouble now. I thought the problem was sorted out after the cops checked I had no dogs at home.
Two days ago a designer friend of mine Shahid Amir, who lives close by and who's a pet lover like me, wanted to know if I had named my dog by a particular name. He also told me that people from a sensitive Muslim area in Mumbai were coming to my house to ransack it. I asked Shahid if as close friend, he thought that I was stupid enough to do such a thing.
Q: You sound very upset
A: I am! If one section of the Muslims believe I am capable of such stupidity why not the rest? It is scary. But I am being hounded for something I have never done.
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