On January 8, Deepika Padukone visited JNU to express solidarity with the students who were attacked inside the campus by masked persons. But in the aftermath of her visit, #BoycottChhapaak started trending on Twitter with a few leaders calling to boycott her movies as well.
Here’s what students and protesters had to say:
Sudipto, a PhD student in JNU, told InUth,
“The fact that a Bollywood celebrity came and chose to stand in solidarity is not condemnable per se. That is what we expect public intellectuals and celebrities to do anyway. The fact that she came and did not hog too much limelight, that is also something that needs to be seen. She was there just as a silent supporter for the students against the violence that happened to them. She did not do any promotion of her upcoming movie.”
Kaushal, a former student of JNU, added,
“When she came, I was there and I saw her. She spoke to our president and, if I’m not wrong, said ‘Please take care, I’m very proud of you’. I think these people do have some influencing power but I would also want to call out the artists of India who can influence people but would not. They did not speak truth to the power which they could have because of so much popular support.”
Kavita Krishnan, a social activist and member of the politburo of the CPI-ML, added,
“The point is that not all citizens have an equal voice. Somebody who is standing here on the road with a placard is heard or seen less than someone like Deepika Padukone. That’s all. Otherwise, Deepika Padukone is a citizen of this country and she came. I really respect and admire the manner in which she came where she absolutely did not try to grandstand in any way. She just came to participate and show her respect towards students. And I think that’s a perfectly wonderful gesture and I wish we have far more of it.”