Superstar Deepika Padukone stopped by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which has been embroiled in chaos and protests for the past few days, in order to show her solidarity with the students who were subjected to violence.
Clad in a black turtleneck, Deepika, who was in the city to promote her forthcoming film Chhapaak, attended a public meeting held by the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) and Teachers’ Association, against the attack on students by masked men and women armed with sticks and iron rods. The attack resulted in more than twenty people getting injured and hospitalised. Deepika, however, did not address the crowd. She stood by as former JNUSU president, Kanhaiya Kumar, raised slogans and left just as current President Aishe Ghosh, who too was injured in the attack, began to speak.
“When you are in a powerful position, you should speak up,” commented Ghosh. “There are many people in Bollywood who do not put forth their views. They are considered role models. I appeal to them: Make inspiring films after something has happened, but when you are in that position, talk about the story that is currently happening.”
Recently, Deepika told a news channel that she feels proud that people have come out and raised their voice without fear, in reference to the protests against the amended Citizenship Act, the National Register of Citizens and the violence in JNU.
“I feel proud to see that people are coming out -- be it on the streets or wherever they are -- they are raising their voices and expressing themselves, as it is important. If we want to see changes in our lives and the society, it is important to put our points of view forward,” she said.
Several other artistes from the Indian film industry, including directors Vishal Bhardwaj, Sudhir Mishra, Rahul Dholakia, Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar, and actors Diya Mirza, Ali Faisal, Swara Bhasker, Tapasee Pannu and Richa Chadha, took to the streets in Mumbai to protest the violence in JNU.