Deepika visits JNU campus, BJP leader seeks boycott of her movies

Deepika Padukone
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone visits JNU campus in solidarity with students and teachers who were attacked on Sunday | PTI Photo

Actor Deepika Padukone on Tuesday (January 7) visited Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to extend her support to the students protesting against Sunday’s campus violence. She arrived on the campus at 7:45 pm and left after 10 minutes without making a statement.

Deepika stood as former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was raising azaadi slogans and left by the time current president Aishe Ghosh started speaking. Her decision to not address the crowd prompted Ghosh to comment, “When you are in a position, you should speak up”.

While her visit to the JNU campus was hailed by a section of social media users and her fans, what followed was a boycott call for her movies from a BJP leader. RSS-affiliate ABVP has been accused of unleashing violence on the campus on Sunday night.

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Also read | Bollywood celebs call JNU violence horrifying, heartbreaking

Deepika now belongs to a wide range of artistes from the Bollywood fraternity who spoke up in the aftermath of Sunday’s mayhem. On Monday, actors and filmmakers, including Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Rajkummar Rao, and Alia Bhatt, had condemned the violence.

After the reports of Deepika’s JNU visit went viral, BJP’s Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga gave a call for boycotting her movies. Deepika’s upcoming movie ‘Chhapaak’ is set to release this Friday.

Sharing a photo that showed Deepika standing beside Ghosh and former students’ leader Kanhaiya Kumar, he said in a tweet, RT if you will Boycott Movies of @deepikapadukone for her Support to #TukdeTukdeGang and Afzal Gang (sic).” Soon after his tweet, #BoycottChhapaak started trending on Twitter.

A day earlier, Deepika had said it was heartening to see people come out and raise their voice without fear, in a reference to nationwide protests against the amended Citizenship law, the National Register of Citizens and the violence in JNU. Speaking to NDTV, the 34-year-old actor said it is necessary for people to express their point of view to bring about change.

Also read | Malayalam actors condemn attack on JNU students

“I feel proud to see that we aren’t scared to express ourselves… I think the fact that we are thinking about the country and its future… Whatever may be our point of view, it’s nice to see,” Deepika said.

“I feel proud about it that people are coming out — be it on the streets or wherever they are — they are raising their voice and expressing themselves as it is important. If we want to see changes in life and society, it is important that a point of view be put forward,” she said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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