The violence in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University by a masked mob on Sunday evening has sent shockwaves across the country. Several have condemned the incident after horrific images of the attack began doing the rounds on social media. The alleged inaction on part of the Delhi police has also been questioned.
While most celebrities from Bollywood kept mum as usual, a few voiced their anger and condemnation of the incident. They also expressed dissent and questioned the role of the BJP-led Union government. Importantly, they also called out members of their industry for not speaking out against the attacks on students.
Filmmaker and producer Pooja Bhatt put out a stinging tweet for members of the Hindi film industry who'd supposedly been invited for a dinner on Sunday with Union Minister Piyush Goyal, to gather support for the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). According to Huffington Post, Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Kabir Khan, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ritesh Sidhwani and others received an invite. There is no confirmation yet on who all attended, though Karan Johar and Farhan Akhtar reportedly skipped the meeting.
Pooja Bhatt said that she hoped those who had attended the dinner questioned the government on the violence being unleashed, or at least eaten some "humble pie".
To members of my supposed ‚Äėfraternity‚Äôwho were meant to opine & dine with the ruling party this evening-trust you implored them to curtail the violence unfolding across the nation.Or at the very least,as part of the ‚Äėscrumptious‚Äô meal on offer,help yourselves to some humble pie.‚ÄĒ Pooja Bhatt (@PoojaB1972) January 5, 2020
Previously, several A-list stars of Bollywood like Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurranna, Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, and others had been photographed with PM Modi, at a meeting organised to discuss how the entertainment industry can contribute to nation-building.
Actor Swara Bhasker, who has been a vocal critic of the current government, put out a video appeal on Twitter, asking the citizens in Delhi to go to the JNU campus and pressure the Delhi police to act against the goons. Swara's mother, Ira Bhaskar, is a professor of Cinema Studies at JNU, and her parents live on campus.
Urgent appeal!!!! To all Delhiites PLS gather in large numbers outside the Main Gate of JNU campus on Baba Gangnath Marg.. to pressure the govt. & #DelhiPolice to stop the rampage by alleged ABVP masked goons on JNU campus. PLS PLS share to everyone in Delhi! 9pm on 5th. Jan pic.twitter.com/IXgvvazoSn‚ÄĒ Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) January 5, 2020
The actor also expressed her gratitude later to those who went to the campus to protest, and the media for covering the violence. She also pointed out that the university has been the target of a vilification campaign for three years now.
My mom is safe. JNU is peaceful for now & the gates are open! Eternal gratitude to the citizen protestors of Delhi who showed up at JNU main gate earlier tonight- you saved JNU! Thanks to the media & reporters who risked their own safety & showed Us what terror was unleashed 2day pic.twitter.com/4PekW5E9yN‚ÄĒ Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) January 5, 2020
Let‚Äôs be clear! The attack on JNU last night is a culmination of three years of relentless and false villification of JNU students, teachers & the institution itself - by the govt., Godi media, BJP IT cell & their minions and many times by the JNU VC and JNU admin itself! https://t.co/STIUxJ2MPa‚ÄĒ Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) January 6, 2020
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja tweeted about the violence in JNU, calling it shocking, disgusting, and cowardly.
Shocking disgusting and cowardly. Have the balls to at least show your face when you want to attack innocents. https://t.co/laFmsF8DTK‚ÄĒ Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) January 5, 2020
Taapsee Pannu, who has been increasingly vocal about the political situation in the country after the CAA was passed, also condemned the violence and called it "irreparable damage".
Sums it all‚ÄĒ taapsee pannu (@taapsee) January 6, 2020
For everyone who refuses to look at it, acknowledge it let‚Äôs wait till your house burns down. pic.twitter.com/2vcfum6p7X
such is the condition inside what we consider to be a place where our future is shaped. It‚Äôs getting scarred for ever. Irreversible damage. What kind of shaping up is happening here, it‚Äôs there for us to see.... saddening https://t.co/Qt2q7HRhLG‚ÄĒ taapsee pannu (@taapsee) January 5, 2020
Twinkle Khanna, whose husband Akshay Kumar has been making 'nationalistic' movies in line with the BJP's politics, and who also interviewed PM Modi before the 2019 elections, tweeted that cows seem to be getting more protection in India than students. She said that people can't be oppressed with violence.
India,where cows seem to receive more protection than students, is also a country that now refuses to be cowed down. You can‚Äôt oppress people with violence-there will be more protests,more strikes,more people on the street. This headline says it all. pic.twitter.com/yIiTYUjxKR‚ÄĒ Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) January 6, 2020
Dia Mirza questioned the Delhi police's inaction, saying "enough is enough".
How long will this be allowed to continue? How long will you turn a blind eye? How long will the defenceless be attacked in the name of politics or religion? Enough is enough. @DelhiPolice‚ÄĒ Dia Mirza (@deespeak) January 5, 2020
Kriti Sanon called what was happening in JNU inhuman.
It breaks my heart to see what happened at JNU! What‚Äôs going on in India is horrifying!! Students & teachers being beaten up & terrorized by masked cowards!! The constant blame game!Stooping so low for political agendas!Violence is NEVER a solution! How have we become so inhuman?‚ÄĒ Kriti Sanon (@kritisanon) January 6, 2020
Rajkummar Rao was among the few male stars from Bollywood to post a reaction.
Among directors, Anurag Kashyap, Anubhav Sinha, and Neeraj Ghaywan have posted several tweets about the violence.
Anurag Kashyap tagged PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, accusing them of being the real "tukde tukde" gang breaking up the country ‚Äď referring to the euphemism that supporters of right-wing politics have been using to brand dissenters as anti-national and seditious.
The real ‚Äútukde tukde gang‚ÄĚ is @BJP4India and ABVP and the leader of the ‚ÄúTukde tukde Gang‚ÄĚ is @AmitShah and @narendramodi . And let‚Äôs write that in stone . They are the ones breaking and dividing the country .‚ÄĒ Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) January 5, 2020
Apart from condemning the violence and questioning the government's inaction, Anubhav Sinha posted angry tweets about the silence from Bollywood.
So not one. NOT ONE OF YOU found it worthy to respond to a call from a colleague???? NOT ONE.... ????? https://t.co/PUdVeoOyUM‚ÄĒ Anubhav Sinha (@anubhavsinha) January 5, 2020
You know what????? FUCK YOU ALL.... FUCK YOU!!! https://t.co/PUdVeoOyUM‚ÄĒ Anubhav Sinha (@anubhavsinha) January 5, 2020
In the southern film industries, Siddharth, Nivin Pauly, Prakash Raj are among the few who've been tweeting about the events at JNU. Pa Ranjith has retweeted several tweets about JNU, including Swara Bhasker's video.
#Fascists will try to delegitimize universities. They will create violence and spread lawlessness. They will then call for the shut down of centers of learning till they can take them over. They fear opinions and intellects. This is how the #Nazis did it too. Wake up! #JNUattack‚ÄĒ Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) January 6, 2020
Hurt..anguished..sickening to hear of the barbaric attack on students in #JNUViolence THESE WOUNDS ARE DEEPER THAN FLESH.. will we hang our head in shame for being silent spectators or will we stand up against these bigots who are terrorising our children..our future #JustAsking‚ÄĒ Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) January 5, 2020
What happened in #JNU last night was horrifying and frightening. This is brutality at its worst! Those attackers behind this violence against students and teachers must be punished. It‚Äôs time we stand united against hate and violence. #StandWithJNU #JNUViolence‚ÄĒ Nivin Pauly (@NivinOfficial) January 6, 2020
Anil Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor also condemned the violence at a film promo event when they were asked about the violence in JNU.