Deepika Padukone meets JNU students, #BoycottChhapaak trends, Bollywood, fans back Deepika

Much maligned for its silence on pressing issues, Bollywood finally woke up with super star Deepika Padukone showing courage in expressing solidarity with the students

By Mayur Lookhar

Deepika Padukone greets JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh

Her film is currently mired in a copyright row and conventional wisdom would call one to stay clear of another controversy. Deepika Padukone, though didn’t care for the financial implications but showed her humane side when she turned up to meet protesting students of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. The Chhapaak [2020] actresss attended a protest and met JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh and others. Ghosh and 18 other students were brutally attacked allegedly by right wing goons recently. The students have been protesting against the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens.

“I am pained to see what’s happening today. I hope it doesn’t become the new normal. I”m scared that one can say anything and get away with it. I think this [violence] is not the foundation of our country. I feel angry that this [attack on JNU students] is happening but at the same time, the fact that no action has been taken, that needs to be given a serious thought, ” Padukone told Aaj Tak.

Padukone’s meet with the students naturally didn’t go down well right wing trolls who called for boycotting Padukone’s film Chhapaak [2020] that is set to be released on 10 January. Many even labelled it a marketing gimmick to get eyeballs for her film. While some called upon cinephiles to watch the competitor film Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior [2020]

Well, it didn’t take long for #BoycottChhapaak to top Twitter trends, but in a rare instance, Bollywood and fans came out in full support of Padukone. And it just weren’t the usual names. Soon, the #IStandWithDeepika and #ISupportDeepika hash tags outnumbered the #BoycottChhapaak trend.

“This is callous. Those calling to boycott #Chhapaak because
@deepikapadukone went to #JNU are forgetting the movie is about an acid attack survivour whose story Deepika has dared to share. How can one forget the cause the brave actress has espoused ? #ISupportDeepika,” tweeted veteran actor and Rajya Sabha member Raj Babbar.

“DeepikaPadukone I applaud your commitment…and your courage! You are a HERO!,” tweeted veteran actress Simi Garewal.

“As producer today @deepikapadukone would’ve been standing in the preview theatres in Mumbai waiting to hear praise being showered on her maiden production. She instead chose to stand in solidarity with #JNUstudents knowing fully well the ramifications of her actions. #RESPECT,” tweeted filmmaker, producer Nikkhil Advani.

Anurag Kashyap, who has been a strong critic of the Bhartiya Janata Party and its policies, praised Padukone and urged fans to watch Chhapaak in huge numbers.

“The female of the species is, and was, and will always be the strongest of the two #DeepikaPadukone . Chhapak first day all shows . Let’s all those who stand against the violence go to @bookmyshow and show them. Make our silent statement which will be the loudest,” tweeted Kashyap.

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