Deepika Padukone joins JNU students in solidarity, sends out bold message from Bollywood, draws support on Twitter

  • Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone showed up at JNU to express solidarity with students who were injured in violence inside the varsity campus

  • The actor left without saying anything, however, she was photographed meeting JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in Sunday's violence

  • Her visit to the JNU campus has received criticism with BJP leader Tajinder Singh Bagga urging people to boycott her film for supporting the 'Tukde Tukde Gang and Afzal Gang'

  • Padukone has found support on social media for standing up with students, including from Congress leader Milind Deora, who said that the actor doesn't need to explain anything to anyone

Amid criticism over top Bollywood celebrities maintaining silence over the violence in JNU, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone joined the protesting students at the JNU's Sabarmati hostel.

According to reports, Padukone visited JNU around 7.45 pm and stayed on campus for about 10 minutes. The actor left without saying anything, however, she was photographed meeting JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in the violence that took place at the university on Sunday.

Her visit to the JNU campus has received both criticism and appreciation on social media with some calling up for a "boycott" of her films and others appreciating the actor for her "bold" move. While at one end, #boycottchhapaak emerged as the top trend in India on Tuesday, the hashtag #ISupportDeepika was trending as well with several users tweeting in the actor's support.

BJP leader Tajinder Singh Bagga tweeted asking if people should boycott her film for supporting the 'Tukde Tukde Gang and Afzal Gang'.

Some have termed Padukone's visit to the JNU as a stunt to promote her film Chhapaak, which is releasing this Friday.

BJP National spokesperson Nupur Sharma also slammed the actor in a tweet. She said, "I usually avoid tweeting to Bollywood but if this is your bid to sell a movie on a woman’s fight by sharing the stage with somebody penalised for sexual misconduct (he flashed himself to a woman student at JNU in 2015) then it defeats the very purpose!"

The 34-yar-old actor, however, has found support for standing up with students in the ongoing protests, including Congress leader Milind Deora. "Insinuating that
@deepikapadukone visited #JNU to promote her film means you’re ignorant as hell! She has much to lose & could have easily chosen to sit on the fence like everyone else. Tough being an artist these days: damned if you do & damned if you don’t," he tweeted. In another tweet, Deora said:

Several other users have come in Padukone's support for showing up at the protest against the violence in JNU.

Film director Onir tweeted: "Respect for the women in the Hindi film industry... always much more sensitive and courageous than the men."

Biocon's chief Kiran Mazumdar Shah also lauded Padukone. She tweted:

Padukone is among the few top Bollywood celebrities who have offered their support to the ongoing students' protests. On Monday night, a slew of Bollywood celebrities such as directors Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and actors Taapsee Pannu and Richa Chadha had turned up at Carter Road in Mumbai in solidarity with those protesting against the violence at the JNU. In a peaceful gathering of hundreds, the film fraternity was at the forefront with prominent personalities, including actors Swara Bhasker, Dia Mirza and Ali Fazal as well as Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, Rahul Dholakia and Neeraj Ghaywan. However, so far, none of the Bollywood biggies — Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan among others — have reacted on the ongoing protests. Kashyap who has been a vocal supporter of the protests against CAA, NRC and NRP, also lauded Padukone for showing up at JNU.

Earlier on Monday, speaking about protests against the amended Citizenship Act, the National Register of Citizens and violence in JNU, Padukone had told a news channel that it is necessary for people to express their point of view to bring about change.

"I feel proud to see that we aren't scared to express ourselves... I think the fact that we are thinking about the country and its future.... Whatever may be our point of view, it's nice to see," Deepika had told NDTV India on Monday night.

"I feel proud about it that people are coming out — be it on the streets or wherever they are — they are raising their voice and expressing themselves as it is important. If we want to see change in life and society, it is important that a point of view be put forward," she said.

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Updated Date: Jan 07, 2020 22:41:31 IST