Piyush Goyal invites Bollywood for 'discussion' on CAA protests, only a handful of minor celebs turn up

Simran Singh

Jan 06, 2020 09:52:53 IST

Union Minister of Railway and Commerce Piyush Goyal invited Bollywood celebrities for a meeting to 'discuss' the disputed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) on 5 January at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. The discussion was followed by a 'scrumptious dinner,' as per the invitation.

 Piyush Goyal invites Bollywood for discussion on CAA protests, only a handful of minor celebs turn up

Prasoon Joshi at the event

Reportedly, invitees like Javed Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar, and Karan Johar among others did not confirm their presence, and the actual turnout was a disappointing affair. Only a handful of minor celebrities turned up at the event.

On Sunday afternoon, Mumbai Police started securing the place with more than 100 cops around the hotel. They briefed the hotel staff not to let anyone inside the hotel without prior permission. Gradually, the security got more beefed up, and the reason was a silent protest by people who were disappointed with Bollywood’s support to the government.

The media was stationed on the opposite side of the hotel. By 8 pm, celebrities like veteran vocalist Suresh Wadkar, filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor, music composer Anu Malik, film producer Ritesh Sidhwani, lyricist-writer Prasoon Joshi, and filmmaker Kunal Kohli drove into the hotel. On the opposite side, 20 to 30 odd people walked in with placards and roses. They peacefully voiced their dissent against the government, its policies, and the ideology.

“The government is out of ideas so they’re taking the support of Bollywood," said by an elderly man, who believed the ones who were attending the meeting could do anything for money.

“The government is not concerned about the thousands of people, who are suffering and opposing the act… CAA, NPR (National Population Register), NRC. Instead, our railway minister has arranged a meeting with celebrities to discuss it at a 5-star hotel. I request people from the film industry, "Don’t disappoint your fans. Please don’t support the act. The film industry works because of us… the fans… So please try to stop the act as it is harmful to the country," a protester said. 

Within an hour, celebs like music mogul and T-Series Chairperson Bhushan Kumar, television producers Shashi and Anu Ranjan, Taarak Mehta aka Shailesh Lodha, filmmaker Rahul Rawail, vocalist Kailash Kher, filmmakers Anil Sharma and Vipul Amritlal Shah, actor Ranvir Shorey, and singer Shaan marked their presence. 

On one side, there were celebrities who arrived at the hotel support of the government's stand, and on the other side, there were people who opposed them. “I believe that the actors understand our concern, and we expect their help and support," a hopeful protester from the group asserted.

Later, the dissenters decided to end their silent protest by giving a token of appreciation to Mumbai Police with roses, and the force accepted it gracefully.

The meeting ended by 10:30 pm and after dinner, the celebrities rushed out while refusing to comment on the proceedings.

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Updated Date: Jan 06, 2020 13:21:11 IST