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Posted by Moitrayee Das

It is very clear by now that in Bollywood, most of the celebrities would only speak up when their films are under attack or on any issue that has zero connection with the government whatsoever. This has always been the case, come what may. It is not surprising to see so many Bollywood actors update their social media handles on an hourly basis (about their movies, dress and food) but literally a handful of them spoke up on the issue of CAA protests and even fewer genuinely wrote about this fascist government and police brutality seen in various parts of the country, instead of having their PR draft a carefully constructed diplomatic message, with a ‘Jai Hind’ at the bottom.

Image Source: AskMen

In this time, when the country is burning up and people are taking to streets to protest against this unconstitutional as we all as an act of regional injustice, students, activists and protesters are being detained for no fault, people are being beaten to death, it would have been supportive to see the big names in the industry speak up on this issue and condemn it, rather than living their privilege till the brim of disgust. The nation has not forgotten the ‘Selfie with PM which was posted by each and every celebrity who was present there, including the likes of Shahrukh Khan and Ranveer Singh. The celebrities seemed to be very pleased that the PM was discussing the future of cinema and were hopeful towards an inspiring entertainment industry. Where have those faces gone now? Where have the words disappeared? Why is it so hard for them to stand against this injustice, for once? 

It is not surprising to see so many celebrities update their social media handles on an hourly basis (about their movies, dress and food) but literally a handful of them spoke up on the issue of CAA-NRC and even fewer genuinely wrote about this fascist government and police brutality seen in various parts of the country, instead of having their PR draft a carefully constructed diplomatic message, with a ‘Jai Hind’ at the bottom.

We all know better, than to expect any form of sympathy, empathy or solidarity from the big shots in the industry. But I still wonder how blinded can one be by their privileges to not speak up of the injustice happening right in front of their eyes?

Some Who Spoke, Spoke For The Government

Saina Nehwal recently found herself in what I call a ‘tweetversy’ (controversy in twitter) for posting identical tweets on CAA protests as fellow twitter users. It said, “I’am hearing a thought provoking speech from Narendra Modi Sir” on his speech at Ramlila Maidan. This is not the first time something like this has happened. During Diwali, Nehwal was among many other sportswomen who put up identical tweets in what seems like a coordinated campaign, thanking the PM for his initiative to empower women. Really? Well, at this point we also don’t know how to make sense of Mary Kom’s comment on the Citizenship Amendment Act. The exact words of Mary Kom were: 

Also read: 10 Posters At The CAA Protests In Delhi That Scream Resistance

“It’s a very important Bill. If the request has come from the Minister or the government, I should be in the House only. I know, the Bill is going to be passed. It’s not in my hands of course and my opinion here does not matter. If the government is supporting and everyone is supporting then I will also support it”.

These are the people who have a platform to voice their opinion and actually be a true role model for the public and make a difference. However, not much can be done if they choose to remain silent and post selfies (with or without PM). Such public figures serve as role model to many, especially the youth, but if these are the people our youth look up to, then we are in a very sorry state. Of course, one must know better than to look up to them as role models. We know that, I genuinely hope the young impressionable minds also could know better.

Such public figures serve as role model to many, especially the youth, but if these are the people our youth look up to, then we are in a very sorry state. Of course, one must know better than to look up to them as role models. We know that, I genuinely hope the young impressionable minds also could know better.

If You Don’t Know, Try Knowing!

Some actors such as Varun Dhawan and Tapsee Pannu have gone on record to say that they are not well-informed on the CAA protests and would need to have more ‘knowledge’ before giving a comment. I am not sure how does one keep oneself ‘uninformed’ on a burning issue in their very own city and country. I am not even going to speak about Akshay Kumar, as his actions to promote the current government’s acts have spoken for itself; from doing ‘apolitical’ interviews with the PM to promoting the building of metro in Aarey forest to ‘liking’ the video of police brutality meted towards Jamia students, his intentions are crystal clear.

Image Source: The Indian Express

And if one must look out for role models from Bollywood then people like Sushant Singh, Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Huma Qureshi, Swara Bhaskar along with few others who have not minced their words or tried to be diplomatic in this scenario and have actually come to the ground to protest against this injustice along with the public would at least qualify for the list.

Also read: Why Are Feminists Opposing The Citizenship Amendment Act?

Well, they can continue playing super-heroes in their reel life, we are better off without their hypocritical sense of conscience.


Moitrayee Das is a PhD student at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. You can find her on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Featured Image Source: Huffington Post

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