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CAA/NRC Unrest: Dear Bollywood celebs, please don’t forget that apart from being a star you are also a citizen of India

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The father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had said- “Silence becomes cowardice when the occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” His words still resonate with the kind of troubling times we all are living in. Today, lies and propaganda are being bombarded in such a well-polished way that after a point the urge to fight for truth seems to be dying a slow and painful death.

It’s been months since the entire nation has been witnessing the outrage against Bhartiya Janta Party’s CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and proposal of NRC (National Register of Citizens). The outrage was followed by a large-scale protest staged by the students of Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi, and Aligarh Muslim University. What followed next was the brutal attack on the students by Delhi Police.

Then we had a masked mob entering the campus of Jawaharlal Nehra University (JNU) and assaulting its students as well as the staff members. This was the last nail in the coffin and next, we saw several Bollywood celebs come out and strongly raise their voice against the violence. However, there are also some who are comfortably sitting on the fence and trying to refrain from sharing their views. They simply don’t want to take a stand. After all, what do they have to do with all this turmoil the country is going through? They are stars and maintaining their public image and remaining in the good books of the government is all they are concerned with.

Bollywood celebs are widely divided over the current situation in the country. Their difference of opinion is not a matter of debate but the silence of the most powerful A-lister celebs is something that can’t be overlooked or brushed under the carpet.

Twitterati tagged the Khans of Bollywood as ‘spineless’ as none of them came forward to either condemn the act of violence or share their views on the CAA/NCR. Salman Khan, despite being one of the most celebrated Khans, not even once said anything on the issue. Interestingly it was his co-star Sonakshi Sinha who openly stated that the CAA protests are more important than the earnings of her film ‘Dabangg 3’. That one comment was enough to show that having a moral compass is any day better than being known as “Star”.

Shah Rukh Khan, despite being an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia, has maintained a stoic silence either on the protests or the violence that took place in the campus of the university. He is known as the Badshah of Bollywood and yet he kept mum. Canadian citizen Akshay Kumar did condemn the violence however refrained from sharing his opinions on the Act. Now forget these stars, even the megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who generally tweets about anything and everything under the sun, haven’t got time yet to gauge the situation and lend his support to the protest or even extend his support to the CAA.

Thankfully we saw a number of filmmakers and actors like Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu, Sayani Gupta, Richa Chadha, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub, Anubhav Sinha, Varun Grover, Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhasker, Twinkle Khanna, Vivek Agnihotri, Kangana Ranaut, who presented their views openly. Now whether it was in favour of CAA or against it, that’s an altogether different topic.

Ajay Devgn said he would rather wait for the facts to emerge and only then comment. How long will you wait to gather information and form an opinion on matter this grave? Even a commoner is reading extensively to understand why there is so much unrest in the country and how CAA or NRC will affect everyone.

The biggest shock was when none of the actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Ayushmann Khurrana, or Sara Ali Khan and Ishaan Khatter, from the young brigade, opened their mouth. Not even a single of them have shared their opinions or raised there voice. The protests are majorly headed by the youth and while the commoners have even come out on the streets but our so-called “millennial actors” are peacefully enjoying brunch with their peers, boasting about their social media followers or recounting the struggles of how their father was not able to appear on the most prestigious show on the face of the earth- “Koffee With Karan“. Their struggle story is so heartwrenching that perhaps some filmmaker might even be planning a biopic on them. You never know!

Television actor Sushant Singh apparently lost his job just because of attending an anti-CAA protest. Deepika Padukone, one of the top actresses of Bollywood, showed her solidarity with the assaulted students by simply visiting them and standing with them. Now she too is facing the brunt of her actions with some even calling for a boycott of her latest film ‘Chhapaak‘. But look at the bigger picture, Padukone visited JNU, she didn’t shout any anti-govt slogan or gave any speech, she simply stood with the injured students. That simple act had such a ripple effect that every media house extensively covered that one visit. That’s how a star status helps in giving weightage to any event or cause.

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#deepikapadukone visits JNU

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There are rumours that Deepika’s endorsement deals may take a hit and her future projects may have a clause against pulling off such ‘stunts’. But she seems to be unfazed by all of it. And that’s how one should use their star power. It’s just sad that Deepika’s husband Ranveer Singh despite being a huge star is yet to say anything. No act of solidarity…no tweet…nothing. He is blissfully living in his own bubble.

Actors like Richa, Swara and Taapsee face an army of trolls on a daily basis and yet they are not worried about losing out on projects or not being in the ‘good-books’ of the ruling party. That’s the sign that they have a conscience.

My simple question to all those stars who met PM Narendra Modi and happily posed for the ‘iconic selfie’ is that are you guys so bounded by that one meeting that no matter what you will never ever criticise the govt or its policies?

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I completely understand that these stars are under no obligation to comment or share their views on each and everything that happens in the world. But how can they forget that apart of being a star they are also a citizen of India? And when a law is being implemented that goes against the social fabric of the Constitution of the country, how can anyone still be sitting on the fence and try to maintain a neutral stance?

We all aspire to have a non-controversial life but when it comes to problems that the entire nation is facing right now, how can one remain apolitical? In the country where stars are literally worshipped and the youth looks up to you as a role model, then the ball is in your court to prove if you all are really worthy of all this adulation and praise. Or money and reputation are all that matters to you? You all have a conscience, so please don’t silence it.

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