ANINDITA ACHARYA, Kolkata: No surprises again. This time, too, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most coveted Bollywood selfie gang hasn’t spoken out. Don’t get us wrong. There are some in Bollywood — most of the names you know by now —who have condemned the Delhi violence.
These are almost the same voices of dissent who took to Twitter when Delhi Police allegedly entered the Jamia Milia Islamia University on December 15, 2019 and attacked the students. In fact, actress Sayani Gupta had tweeted then, “On behalf of the students of Jamia & AMU request at least one of you to tweet or message Mr.Modi condemning this act of police brutality and violence against students. The time has come to speak up guys. Yes? No? May be?@RanveerOfficial @karanjohar @ayushmannk @RajkummarRao.”
Of course, Twitterati called out celebrities especially Shah Rukh Khan — a Jamia alumni — on staying silent on that issue. Even Amitabh Bachchan’s stand was questioned by the netizens and so was Ayushmann’s who keeps doing these socially-relevant biggies, but then never takes a stand. Though Rajkummar Rao had condemned the violence of Delhi Police on Jamia students, he is yet to comment on the current condition of Delhi.
Though people were divided in the case of Deepika Padukone making a brief appearance at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in January 2020 just prior to the release of her film Chhapaak, there were those who strongly came out in her absolute support. The Bollywood star greeted JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh two days after a masked mob unleashed violence in the varsity.
The youngsters look upto the Bollywood stars. Even US President Donald Trump praised Bollywood during his speech at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. But then, our Bollywood stars — especially a section of mainstream Bollywood — has gone diplomatically silent on the national issues, especially this gruesome Delhi violence. And this time, too, no tweets from Ranveer, KJo, Big B, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan or Aamir Khan. We aren’t surprised.
Rather, Amitabh has tweeted about Ranbir Kapoor being an enormous talent. This comes at a time when even Rajnikanth, whom Big B calls a “good friend” has voiced his opinion. The South superstar has heavily slammed the Centre for failing to control the Delhi violence. Calling it an intelligence failure, he said the government should control it with an iron first, and if they are unable to control it, they should resign. Kamal Haasan has supported Rajnikanth in the condemnation of the Delhi violence.
In Bollywood, as mentioned earlier, we mostly (just like Jamia protest condemnation) have Swara Bhasker, Richa Chadha, Vishal Dadlani, Sonam Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap and Sona Mohapatra condemning the violence. Singer Sona Mohapatra posted, “Abominable, Loathsome. Repugnant, Vile & Heartbreaking stories I hear & see, #Delhi . #India this isn’t what we ever want to be.”
the level of violence is being increased in Delhi . All the Kapil Mishras are being unleashed . An atmosphere is being created to convince an average Delhiite that it is all because of the anti CAA protest and in a few days the Delhi Police will go for “ the final solution “
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) February 25, 2020
Omkara singer Rekha Bhardwaj also tweeted, “There is a conflict , confusion inside me coz i am continuously praying for peace, for giving wisdom n peace n kindness in hearts of miscreants, praying for divine intervention and a miracle.. at the same time reading news of only pain violence sufferings is disheartening!”
इतना तो आज साफ है कि PRO-CAA का मतलब Anti-Muslim है बस और कुछ नहीं ।
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) February 24, 2020
Anti-CAA protestors have been protesting for 2 months. There was no violence until each time the so-called “pro-CAA” groups showed up.
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) February 24, 2020
However, back home in Kolkata, our celebrities seem to be more sorted. At least for the time being. The Bengali film celebrities have condemned the Delhi violence and called for peace. They have also said that breaking the country in the name of religion will bring no solution.
Prosenjit Chatterjee is shooting for Kaushik Ganguly’s film Kaberi Antardhan, but he seems to be devastated upon hearing the news in Delhi. “Saddened and devastated to hear the chaos in the Capital of our country. Hate shall not prevail, let’s unite and move forward as Indians #uniteindian #peace #saynotowar #love #respect,” tweeted Prosenjit.
Anupam Roy had recently released a single Porichoy, which talks about celebrating humanity. The song itself mentions how religion should not separate human beings.
Whatever happening around us, we can held ourselves responsible only.Hatred has been a more powerful emotion & the havoc it can create has no end..Unfortunate we are that we succumb to our inner demons & evils get unleashed.From time immemorial till now.
— Abir Chatterjee (@itsmeabir) February 26, 2020
Actor-director Parambrata Chatterjee is always known for being a straight talker. “No it’s not shocking, not anymore. The pogrom was on, it’s only become open now. From the pathetic, helpless lot of ours, the aware & conscious might find a mirror image of what we might be remembered as(sadly) in “Hunters” on prime video. Good luck with sleeping!,” he posted.
In fact, Bengali naak uchu audiences have had tons of complaints with today’s Bengali filmmakers and actors. From copy-paste cinema to inadequate budget and poor technology, Tollywood has always been given a step-motherly attitude. And at times, of course it’s justifiable. The viewers don’t waste any time to lash out and compare a Bengali film with its Bollywood counterpart. Not a problem.
But then, why aren’t you talking about your favourite Khans not condemning the Delhi violence now? You are the same audience who don’t take time to make memes on the Bengali actors, troll them (again, no issues at all). But when the right time comes, you should stand by your home heroes too.
For Saswata ‘Bob Biswas’ Chatterjee, the responsibilities of the political leaders have increased by leaps and bounds now. “They should stop the Delhi violence at the earliest. The primary job of the political leader is to govern the country,” he said.
Dev shared a photograph of the Indian flag and tweeted, “I don’t see Delhi Burning.. I can only see Humanity Crippling. THIS was not Gods plan. THIS needs to STOP. Or else we fail TOGETHER, AS A NATION.”
I don’t see Delhi Burning.. I can only see Humanity Crippling.
THIS was not Gods plan.
THIS needs to STOP.
Or else we fail TOGETHER, AS A NATION 🙏🏻. pic.twitter.com/Qh2KI9wqJN
— Dev (@idevadhikari) February 26, 2020
Pupa and Parcel filmmaker Indrasish Acharya believes polarising people in the name of religion needs to be stopped. “This is not the first time this kind of violence has taken place in India. It has happened in Mumbai and Gujrat. They are polarising people to garner votes. It should not spread to any other states and areas of Delhi. The situation is grim,” he said.
Nusrat Jahan, who is shooting for her new film, Dictionary with Abir Chatterjee in Bolpur, has appealed not to spread fake news in this troubled times. “Saddened…. Disheartened…. Pained My country is burning. Let us not forget we are Human first. Also please do not spread rumour, fake news & hate. Folded hands #Delhi,” the actress and Basirhat MP tweeted.
— Nusrat (@nusratchirps) February 26, 2020
Popular TV actor Vikram Chatterjee is shocked with the rising death toll in Delhi violence. “Shocked and hurt beyond words with what’s going on in Delhi. Don’t let politics and religion rise above humanity, please. This is not the world any of us wish to live in!,” he tweeted.
Srijit Mukherji and his Dwitiyo Purush actor Anirban Bhattacharya have been retweeting and tweeting about Delhi violence continuously. Srijit had also condemned vehemently during the Jamia student attack.
দিল্লী তে কি হচ্ছে, বি জে পি আই টি সেল একটু বলবেন ? আপনাদের কাছেই শুনব,কারণ দেশ তো আপনারাই গড়ছেন। টুকড়ে টুকড়ে খবর শুনে কি করব বলুন,আপনারাই বেশ করে বুঝিয়ে দিন তো,যাতে আমার এখনো না হওয়া কাল্পনিক সন্তানেরও মাথায় গেঁথে যায়। নিন,বোঝান..আচ্ছা, ট্রাম্প এখন কোথায় ?
— Anirban Bhattacharya (@AnirbanSpeaketh) February 25, 2020
Director Raj Chakraborty, whose next release Dharmajuddha raises burning questions on communal violence, has shared the video of a mosque being vandalised in Delhi. He also posted a very important message with it. “If you all keep fighting like this, there will be no humans left. There’ll only be temples and mosques.”
Rituparna Sengupta sounded anxious about the situation in Delhi too. “This disharmony should stop at the moment. I don’t know how, but this should stop,” the actress said.
Her best friend and ‘bonua’ Mimi Chakraborty seems shattered by the Delhi violence. She said that she is happy that today Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam are no longer alive. And she has a strong reason for it, which will shake the core of the heart.
আজ ভালো হয়েছে কবি গুরু তুমি বেঁচে নেই …
আজ ভালো হয়েছে কবি নজরুল ইসলাম তুমি বেঁচে নেই
কারণ মোরা একই বৃন্তে দুটি কুসুম হিন্দু মুসলমান আর নই ,
মোরা রাম আর রহিম ভাই ভাই আর নই
যেটা আমরা এখন… সেটা আর যাই হোক মানুষ আর নই … 🙏🏻
— Mimssi (@mimichakraborty) February 26, 2020
Rukmini Maitra quotes the celebrated author Ismat Chughtai during this time.
Strange how lines from our Partition Literature seem to mock us today from the distant past, telling us how we are failing each day as a nation.
And then there is God.. laughing in mockery too today.
Let’s Heal. Please 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/bhrCEUumUq
— RUKMINI MAITRA (@RukminiMaitra) February 26, 2020
Also, Pradipta Bhattacharyaa, Anik Dutta, Debojyoti Mishra and Ranjan Ghosh have slammed the Centre and condemned the Delhi violence.
In fact, the way the Tollywood film industry has come forward and condemned the act in Delhi is really appreciable. Just have a look at Aamir Khan? Recently, he reached out to his followers through a video on Weibo (almost similar to Twitter) and said how “extremely concerned” he was about “coronavirus”. Of course, the deadly virus has killed more than 2,715 people worldwide, but what about making a video and appealing for peace for your own countrymen?