Deepika Padukone was present at the JNU protest on January 7.
South Delhi BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri Wednesday called for a boycott of Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone and her movie Chhapaak over her support to the “tukde-tukde gang” — a day after she visited Jawaharlal Nehru University to express solidarity with students who were attacked by a masked mob on Sunday.
Bidhuri said an actor is supposed to send out a “positive message to youth in the country through movies”, instead of being “seen with those who are against the country”. “I respect her father (Prakash Padukone, a former world number 1 badminton player), who brought laurels to India. But I am surprised to see her standing with people who raised azadi slogans,” he told The Indian Express.
At 7.45 pm on Tuesday, Padukone had arrived at the university to lend solidarity to JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh. A member of her team said she wanted to “express her anguish at the JNU violence”. While she did not address the gathering, Padukone told Ghosh that she was “proud” of her, and asked her to “take care”.
Ghosh received 16 stitches on her head and fractured her left hand in the violence on campus on Sunday, when masked men ran riot for more than two hours. She has also been named in two FIRs filed in connection with two incidents of alleged vandalism on January 1 and 4.
Referring to former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who delivered a speech at the university while Padukone was there, Bidhuri said: “She could have just stood there and showed support, and objected to the azadi slogan, but she didn’t. This shows that she supports people against whom there is a sedition case and are anti-national.”
“I was the first to tweet and condemn violence in JNU. But how can you support some people and not even see that ABVP members were injured as well? This shows that she is just supporting a particular kind of ideology which is Communist,” he added. He said people should not just boycott Chhapaak but her other movies as well.
The Congress hit back, and called Bidhuri a “fascist”. “Who is he to say who should watch what,” said senior Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee, who was also at JNU Tuesday.
“If they are not involved in the violence, then why are they bothered about who is coming to the campus and who is not?” she said.