As Deepika Padukone landed at the JNU campus yesterday evening in order to show ‘solidarity’ with the victims of violence that occurred there this Sunday, many were taken by surprise. For a top Bollywood star to indulge in petty campus politics is a rather rare occasion. This move comes two days before ‘Chhapaak’, a film starring Deepika in the lead role is slated for release on 10th January.
Chhapaak, starring Deepika Padukone and directed by Meghna Gulzar is a film which revolves around a real-life incident faced by Laxmi Agarwal of Delhi, whose face was disfigured using acid by one Nadeem Khan in 2005. Padukone brings Laxmi’s character to the silver screen. Ever-since the release of its trailer, the movie has garnered immense support and traction, and also appreciation from all quarters. A film with a social message, Chhapaak was all set to be a blockbuster hit, until yesterday.
For many, Deepika’s decision (or her PR team’s decision) to join the protests at JNU was grossly insensitive, and also a cheap attempt at free publicity. Many were not miffed by her decision to display solidarity with the students of JNU, but were rather disappointed seeing her do so towards only one faction of students – those belonging to the Left.
It is no secret that students who are anti-Left and members of the ABVP were all victims of the violence which unfolded, however, Deepika standing only with the JNUSU representatives yesterday enraged many, who instantly started calling for a boycott of her upcoming film.
Within moments, #boycottchhapaak was a top trend, with many vowing to ensure that the film is a major flop. Many also believed that Deepika was advised to visit JNU due to her PR team, a possibility which cannot be ruled out. Some corner of India always is under protest, for varying reasons. It is an indicator of a flourishing democracy. There has been a nationwide protest against CAA for more than a month now, however, Deepika stayed away from all these. JNU itself is in a mode of constant protest, yet, she never landed on its campus and participated along with the students in what has now become a co-curricular activity for them.
Only two days before the slated release of her movie, for Deepika to gate-crash JNU is a testimony to the fact that she wanted her movie to be in the limelight over the next few days.
Among all this, it is indeed sad that the victim around whom this film revolves, Laxmi Agarwal’s story, is lost. Her story could have been a beacon for Indians to learn from and remember, however, owing to the antics of Deepika Padukone and the film’s production team, many have vowed to boycott the film. Laxmi deserved much better than this, however, her story was lost in the noise around petty student politics.
Why is everyone surprised with #DeepikaPadukone supporting anti-India gang at JNU?
Didn’t you know who is her real inspiration?
Now, let the whole world know. Share it as much as you can. pic.twitter.com/JK5oWETb5x
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) January 8, 2020
What the political inclinations of Deepika Padukone are is the least of our concern. However, many should be aware of her ideology nevertheless. Here’s an interview snippet where she is seen saying that Rahul Gandhi is a dynamic youth politician who she would like to see as the Prime Minister.