Alia Bhatt’s former co-star Varun Dhawan has lashed out at the country’s Hindutva gang after they issued a boycott call for Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak for her decision to express solidarity with students of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. Deepika had visited the JNU campus to stand with students, who were protesting against the terror attack by masked criminals on Sunday. Varun, who made his Bollywood debut with Alia in Student Of The Year, also told news agency IANS that he could not remain neutral on ‘such issues’ any longer.
Varun told NDTV that it had become a trend to issue boycott calls to intimidate filmstars. He said, “The ‘boycott’ word was used for my film ‘Dilwale’ which I did with Shah Rukh Khan. For Padmavat too, ‘boycott’ was used. These are the tactics to scare.”
Earlier the Kalank star was quoted by IANS as saying, “I think we cannot stay neutral in such issues. You have to condemn such attacks. It is dangerous and sad if masked people enter an educational institution and all this (assault, vandalism) happens.”
The government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came under massive condemnation for allegedly protecting the perpetrators of the violence on the JNU campus on Sunday. The masked criminals were allowed to leave the campus under police protection prompting many to conclude that the goons enjoyed the patronage of Home Minister Amit Shah, who controls the Delhi Police.
Several students and teachers had sustained injuries after a masked mob carried out a large-scale carnage for hours inside the campus. Among those injured was the JNU Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh. Deepika had met her during her visit to the JNU.
While Deepika was called brave, supporters of the Modi government launched an online campaign calling for the boycott of her film Chhapaak, which releases today. Earlier, the Hindutva gang had also threatened to boycott Padmaavat, another film starring Deepika. But the film went on to be a huge commercial success at the box office.
Earlier, Alia Bhatt had taken to Instagram to break her silence on the recent violence on the JNU campus. She had written, “Everyday is disturbing. What’s going on???????” In her subsequent post, Alia had said that it was time to ‘strongly oppose any ideology that seeks to divide, oppress and promote violence.’ She had said, “When students, teachers and peaceful civilians become victims of physical assault on an ongoing basis, it is time to stop pretending that all is fine.
The action by two of the biggest Bollywood actresses have come in sharp contrast with the silence maintained by bigger names from Bollywood such as Amitabh Bachchan, who has refused to break his silence on the recent police brutality inside the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia University and the Aligarh Muslim University. In a cryptic tweet, he had justified his silence. This has made him a target of incessant attacks from social media users and members from his own fraternity.