On January 7, 2020, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone made a silent presence at a protest in Jawaharlal Nehru University in solidarity with the students who were attacked 2 days earlier by a masked mob. Videos and pictures of her standing in the crowd, as former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar raised slogans with the protesters, went viral on social media shortly after.
Padukone's presence just few days before the release of her film Chhapaak has created a much poralised debate on social media, with many calling to boycott her film while others showed their support to her act.
Hashtags like #boycottchhapaak, #Chappak, #DeepikaPadukone, #shameonbollywood and #ChhapaakDekhoTapaakSe filled up Twitter and became a major trending topic the next day. BOOM takes a closer look at the tweets that are coming in support or showing their protest against Padukone's presence at JNU.
Deepika In JNU
With a solidarity meet for the victims of the brutal attack on the varsity on Sunday night, many had gathered at the campus to show their support - Padukone being one of them.
The word got out soon, with images and videos of the event going viral. The content coming out of the varsity showed Deepika standing silently, as Kanhaiya Kumar raised slogans with the crowd. In other photos, she could be seen greeting JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, who faced a skull injury during the attack.
While many came out in support of this act, some did not take this well.
#BoycottChhapaak and 'Ticket Cancellations'
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri quickly launched a tirade against Padukone by criticising her move multiple times on his social media handles. He further went on Times Now and voiced his objection to Padukone's decision to show solidarity with JNU students.
.@deepikapadukone just gave a message to 98% students of India that she does not stand with them: @vivekagnihotri, Film Director tells Navika Kumar on @thenewshour. | #DeepikaAtJNU pic.twitter.com/oxZIewv3CW— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) January 7, 2020
The hashtag #boycottchhapaak started flying on Twitter almost instantly.
Respected @deepikapadukone ji. 🙏— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) January 8, 2020
Do U support those who destroyed d property, Internet, WIFI connections of JNU & beat students who had come for registrations ?
Do U support slogans lk Bharat tere tukde honge Insha allah Insha Allah ?
Waiting for your response..#ShutdownJNU. pic.twitter.com/iE9A3S4rxX
BOOM spotted several tweets carrying this hashtag, which also posted screenshots of pre-booked Chhapaak tickets being cancelled in protest to Padukone's move. However, upon closer look we found out that they were sharing the exact same screenshot - a cancelled ticket for Chhapaak at a cinema in Vadodra for seats A8, A9 and A10, worth Rs. 420.
Meanwhile, an old interview of Padukone from 2010 was dug up, where she stated that she would like to see Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as prime minister in the future. This was shared by many, including ANI National Bureau Chief Naveen Kapoor.
While There Were Others Who Supported
While there was a massive campaign for boycotting her film, there were those who came in support. Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who's been a vocal critique of the ruling party and a big supporter of the student protests, went as far as to change his Twitter profile picture and cover image with photos of Padukone at the protest.
More power to you @deepikapadukone and thank you for your solidarity and support. You might be abused or trolled today, but history will remember you for your courage and standing by the idea of India. pic.twitter.com/q9WkXODchL— Kanhaiya Kumar (@kanhaiyakumar) January 7, 2020
I will sponsor 100 tickets for Chhapaak for any NGO working with underprivileged kids.— Official PeeingHuman (@thepeeinghuman) January 7, 2020
Let andh-bhakts #boycottchhapaak, we patriots will promote the work of every Indian brave enough to come out and speak up to save Indian democracy.#ISupportDeepika
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?