With JNU visit, Deepika Padukone runs a huge risk

 Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone meets JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, at JNU campus in New Delhi

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone meets JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, at JNU campus in New Delhi

A day after the rousing show of strength by Bollywood at Carter Road in Mumbai, Deepika Padukone also came out to express solidarity with the Jawaharlal Nehru University students and faculty on Tuesday.

The actor, in the national capital to promote her new film, Chhapaak , joined the protests at the JNU against the violence on the campus on Sunday evening.


She also met Aishe Ghosh, the injured president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU).

A gesture from a big star like her acquires significance in the light of the fact that Bollywood, which has usually desisted from taking on the Establishment, has been a lot more vocal against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the JNU violence, especially the younger lot, more so the women.

It was actor Sayani Gupta who lit the fire, calling out the selfie gang on social media and forcing some of them to issue statements.

Actors Swara Bhaskar, Richa Chadha, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra, Konkona Sen Sharma, Huma Qureshi, Taapsee Pannu, Dia Mirza and Sonam Kapur have all consistently been raising their voices for a secular and syncretic India, and against violence.

“The female of the species is, and was, and will always be the strongest of the two #DeepikaPadukone. Chhapak first day all shows. Let’s all those who stand against the violence go to @bookmyshow and show them. Make our silent statement which will be the loudest,” tweeted filmmaker Anurag Kashyap.

While there is the usual cynicism and speculation about Deepika’s gesture being part of the film promotion drive, it is also a fact that taking on the government as well as the so-called “bhakts” at this point in time can invite a backlash against the film.

Hers has not entirely been a safe position to take, considering that she herself is the producer of the film and has a huge financial stake in it.

“She has risked it by standing up for students and human rights. This is NOT publicity, these are values! Which are bigger than films!” Atika Chohan, the co-writer of Chhapaak , told The Hindu.

“This moment in time is bigger than films and financial stakes, and she has shown the way ahead for everyone else.”

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Printable version | Sep 6, 2022 10:25:35 am |