After Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone turned up at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Tuesday evening to meet with students who were attacked by masked individuals, there were calls to boycott her upcoming film. The calls for a boycott, which came even from a BJP MP from Delhi, was also a trend on Twitter.
#ISupportDeepika and #BoycottChhapaak started trending simultaneously. On Wednesday, some people took to social media to share photos of what they claimed were pre-booked tickets for the film that they had cancelled to boycott the film. Some of those who shared the images also claimed they had decided to watch Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior instead.
But it turned out the images shared by people, who claimed to be from across regions, were the same three tickets in a Vadodara theatre. Even the seat numbers were the same.
Here are examples of what was shared:
— The Sunil Kapoor™ (@sunilkapoor8) January 9, 2020
— Me (@Manjuna76120410) January 8, 2020
— Rajveer Shahi🇮🇳 (@helloimrajveer) January 8, 2020
— chetan singh (चेतन)🇮🇳 (@chetansingh099) January 8, 2020
— Santosh singh (@Rashtrapremisa1) January 8, 2020
— नरेंद्र मोदी उर्फ (चे ग्वेरा) (@Jai84640208) January 7, 2020
— अभिनव पांडेय(ABHINAV)🌷 (@abhinawcs) January 7, 2020
It didn’t take long for people to realise that those who claimed to be boycotting the film were sharing the same image. Many people said it was propaganda, and even said they would now book tickets to support Padukone.
— Aakarsh Dhawan | आकर्ष धवन | آکارش ڈھون (@aakarshdhawan) January 9, 2020
— Eshita (@TwitchEsh) January 8, 2020
Booked my ticket already.
Hum dekhenge #ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika#ISupportDeepika pic.twitter.com/WcpL8ABdZZ
— 𝓜𝓲𝓵𝓲𝓴 𝓟𝓮𝓻𝓽𝓲𝓷 (@milik_pertin) January 8, 2020
— mr. D✳️ (@rdxRohit99) January 7, 2020
— Nishikant Sapkal (@Nishikant_ps) January 9, 2020
Sanghis, please book new tickets for #Chhapaak and cancel them. How many hundreds of you will sit in the same A8,9,10 in Vadodara ? Idhulla, somebody has used this image for #Tanhaji 🤦 #Chhapaak https://t.co/4CE2SLo4s1
— 💛 Ananth Srinivasan (@justAnanth2709) January 9, 2020
This is how Bhakts are boycotting #Chhapaak. All cancelling the same ticket, of same day, same show, same theatre.
— Citizen Rudranil || রুদ্রনীল (@rudranilblue) January 9, 2020
— AlostIdentity (@AlostIdentity) January 8, 2020
In her review of the film, our critic Shubhra Gupta writes,”It is that inspiring story that Meghna recreates, with some embellishments, of course, through Deepika Padukone’s Malti. If the star had played it like a vanity project, there would have been no film. But Chhapaak scores because she comes through with a solid, realised performance. It is not just putting the focus on the ravaged-skin-with a missing ear-and-nostril, but reflecting a mix of pain, anger, resignation, and finally, arriving at some kind of resolution.”
The film is based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal, who was was attacked with acid in Delhi’s Khan Market in 2005 by a man who had sought to marry her and had been rejected. In 2006, she filed a Public Interest Litigation against the use of violence against women and seeking regulation on the sale of acid in India. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in her favour.