Amid the nation-wide protests against the newly enacted Citizenship Act, a number of Bollywood personalities have raised their voice on the police action on students in Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Mulsim University in Uttar Pradesh.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) provides citizenship to non-Mulsim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. After the Bill was passed in Parliament, people took to streets in Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, West Bengal among other places.
In Jamia, the Delhi Police Sunday evening lobbed teargas shells inside the campus, forced their way in, and allegedly dragged students out of the library and the mosque, and assaulted them. At least 200 students and 30 policemen were injured in the violence. On Monday, protests erupted in multiple universities across India against the police action and in solidarity with the students of Jamia. As demonstrations began across cities in India, actors from Hindi Film Industry — many are who the alumni of Jamia — came out in support of the students.
Here are a few of the film stars who came out in the support of the students
Actor and politician Kamal Haasan slammed the Centre and the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government over the Citizenship Amendment Act. The AIADMK’s support to the CAA in the Parliament was a betrayal of the Tamils and the nation, he said. “There is this NRC, when it is implemented (at the national level) we will get into the field (against it) and go as far as we could,” Haasan said.
Director Anurag Kashyap, who had left Twitter in August this year, returned to the social media platform to voice his anger on the way student protests were handled. “This has gone too far… (I) can’t stay silent any longer. This government is clearly fascist… and it makes me angry to see voices that can actually make a difference stay quiet..” he tweeted.
— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) December 16, 2019
Anubhav Sinha, the director of films like Mulk and Article 15, tweeted, “When no one has the answers, students do. Look at history worldwide.” Sinha has been repeatedly asking popular faces from all walks of life to voice their opposition against the law. “Dear Icons! Films. Sports. Arts. Politics. Literature. Etc. We chose what we chose because most of us didn’t want to be Government servants. Guess what…. you all now are GOVERNMENT SERVANTS!!! Bwahahaha.”
Actor Sushant Singh, who has been speaking against the citizenship law, announced that his association with the long-running TV show “Savdhaan India” has ended following his participation in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Sushant, however, said it was a “small price” to pay for speaking out. “And, my stint with Savdhaan India has ended,” Sushant wrote. Commenting on his post, a user wondered whether it was the “price” he paid for “speaking the truth”. To this, the actor said, “A very small price my friend. Otherwise, how will you face Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru?”
This!🙏🏻 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/X8qj9sCdEO
— Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) December 16, 2019
Rajkummar Rao, who has appeared in films like Newton and Stree, wrote violence is not the solution. “I strongly condemn the violence that the police have shown in dealing with the students. In a democracy the citizens have the right to peacefully protest. I also condemn any kind of act of destruction of the public properties. Violence is not the solution for anything!” his tweeted read.
Actor Bhumi Pednekar wrote that she is shaken by what the students had to face. “Violence is not a tool to make our country better. We are a democracy and we have the power to exercise our fundamental rights in a rightful manner. What the students faced has shaken me and my heart goes out to them and I protest the way the situation was handled,” she wrote
Growing!!! Who’d have thought… Just when everyone resigned and said what can one person do… this is now a sea of people! We love this country, THIS IS OUR COUNTRY and no one can tell us we don’t belong. NO ONE. ❤️☮️
Jai Hind. https://t.co/XRDcLEVtrZ
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) December 16, 2019
In a series of tweets actor, Huma Qureshi said the Centre has failed the people of this country. Addressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, she asked if peaceful protest is not an option anymore for the citizens. Qureshi wrote: “A democratically elected Govt that creates laws against its own people is following the Nazi Germany model clearly. This government has failed the people of this country. See what is happening on the streets. India is protesting ???? You cannot divide us.”
Actor Manoj Bajpayee tweeted, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. With the students and their democratic rights to protest! I condemn violence against protesting students!!!!!”
Actress Sayani Gupta (Article 15, Margarita with a Straw), tagged a picture that included few actors from the industry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ” The time has come to speak up guys. Yes? No? May be?” she wrote.
On behalf of the students of Jamia & AMU request at least one of you to tweet or message Mr.Modi condemning this act of police brutality and violence against students. The time has come to speak up guys. Yes? No? May be?@RanveerOfficial @karanjohar @ayushmannk @RajkummarRao pic.twitter.com/6l5ky5zbNt
— Sayani Gupta (@sayanigupta) December 15, 2019
Director Sudhir Mishra tweeted: “In 1987, I made a film called “Yeh Woh Manzil Toh Nahin” on the background of student politics. Towards the climax, the police enter the campus and brutally beat up the students. Nothing has changed. Terrible that now we know where the flowers (have) gone. Crushed!”
Actor Tapsee Pannu shared a video from Sunday’s protest in Delhi and wrote, “The video breaks heart n hopes altogether’. Actor Riteish Deshmukh also expressed solidarity with the student protest and said that every voice must be heard in a vibrant democracy.
Suspend. Rape. Burn. Clash. Mob. Violence. Ban. Lynch. Curfew. Silence. Protest. India.
— Nimrat Kaur (@NimratOfficial) December 16, 2019
South star Siddharth tweeted, “These two are not Krishna and Arjuna. They are Shakuni and Duryodhana. Stop attacking #universities! Stop assaulting #students! #JamiaMilia #JamiaProtest.”
Actors Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Soni Razdan, Swara Bhaskar, Vikrant Massey, Swara Bhaskar, Zeeshan Ayyub, Siddharth Malhotra, Dia Mirza, Konkona Sensharma, Parineeta Chopra, writer-comedian Varun Grover, directors Alankrita Srivastava, Mahesh Bhatt, Onir and Reema Kagti also condemned the police action against the students.
Sir need of the hour is you call the police in the various states. And stop this violence. Tweet baad mein Kar Lena. Thank you. 🙏🏼 https://t.co/uaD5Eo9QzU
— Sandhya Mridul (@sandymridul) December 16, 2019
Meanwhile, superstar Akshay Kumar found himself in a row after he “accidentally” liked a tweet making fun of protesting students of Jamia. “Regarding the like on the tweet of Jamia Milia students, it was by mistake. I was scrolling and accidentally it must have been pressed and when I realised I immediately unliked it as in no way do I support such acts,” Akshay Kumar said.
The protests also found a mention on Hollywood actor John Cusack’s Twitter timeline. Cusack tweeted a quote by Arundhati Roy and posted the message: “Stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and students in solidarity being brutalized by Modi.”
Among the cricketers, Aakash Chopra and Irfan Pathan expressed their displeasure about the clashes in Jamia Milia Islamia. “Political blame game will go on forever but I and our country is concerned about the students of #JamiaMilia #JamiaProtest,” Pathan wrote on Twitter.