Bollywood today, isn’t just limited to making fancy movies and promoting brands and capitalism. The Gen-Z look up to Bollywood celebrities for not just this, but their opinions on major issues- be it social, cricket or political. Celebs are influencers and hugely impact the way our youth view the on-going issues.
But, let us accept the fact that a major chunk of the Bollywood industry sits on a privileged pedestal and remain unaffected by the issues which impact the lives of the common people.
The unfortunate attack on the peacefully protesting students in Jamia University by the Delhi Police raged wildfire in the rest of the country, with several prominent people speaking in favour of the students.
Our looked up to Bollywood industry chose to remain tight-lipped on the issue.
Actress Sayani Gupta retweeted this photo where PM Modi can be seen with many well-known actors and directors. She criticised their uncaring attitude and tagged all of them, saying:
Seems like the celebs took her remark seriously and sprang to action, namely, tweeting and expressing sorrow.
Evening onwards on 16th December, actors like Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana, Ritesh Deshmukh, Anurag Kashyap, Pooja Bhatt, Taapsee Pannu, and Manoj Bajpayee spoke up in condemnation of the violence and bashing up of the students.
Akin to Sayani Gupta, director Anubhav Sinha fiercely criticised his colleagues for remaining mum in such a volatile situation. He said:
Actor Zeeshan Aayub not only expressed his support of the Jamia students via tweets but also visited the university and listened to the grievances of the students.
And The “Spineless” Ones:
One can hardly forget the fascinating ‘informal’ interview of the PM that Akshay Kumar came out with just around the elections.
The actor is known for his unflinching loyalty to the ruling party. It is no surprise then that he stands in opposition to the protests against CAA and NRC by students.
Amidst the protests, Akshay liked a post that apparently mocked the police brutality on Jamia students. However, sometime later Akshay Kumar tweeted that he liked the post “by mistake”! Many people called him “spineless” and mocked him for the same.
We are left to wonder what sort of AI is involved in an actor liking a post on a sensitive issue “by mistake”. He also made it clear that he does not support such “acts” in any way. Again, is it the “acts” of the peacefully protesting students or the brutality unleashed by the police that he does not support?
Surprisingly, his wife Twinkle Khanna stood in support of the students and said that she stands by “a secular, democratic India where peaceful dissent is our constitutional right.”
Despite all this flood of support statements from various actors and directors, hardly any statement has come forth by the upper rung of actors, namely, the Khans, Bachchans, Karan Johar, where is Kangana Ranaut right now (no movie promotion so no controversy creation?).
Is it their fear of inviting their fans’ disfavour that holds them back, or just their privileged status that makes them feel they can be apolitical and not take a stance in the situation of crisis?
In any case, with or without the sympathetic tweets of celebs, our country stands on slippery grounds and one needs to educate oneself and speak up while there still is time.
Image Sources: Google Images
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