Patriotic Endorsing Modi, Traitor at JNU: Kanhaiya on Deepika
Deepika joined a protest rally against the attack on students and teachers of JNU on 7 January.
Former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) Kanhaiya Kumar took a dig at the ruling party saying that actor Deepika Padukone was patriotic when she was an ambassador for a Modi government initiative but turned anti-national after visiting JNU. Addressing a protest outside the Human Resource Development Ministry in Delhi, Kumar said “Deepika Padukone campaigning for Prime Minister Narendra Modi was deshbhakt (patriotic) but when she came to JNU she became a deshdrohi (traitor).” He was referring to the Modi government’s Bharat Ki Laxmi campaign, of which Deepika and shuttler PV Sindhu were named ambassadors in October last year.
“We have talked about what happened in JNU, but we also need to understand why one university is being defamed time and again. Why those standing with them too are branded as anti-national. Deepika Padukone came to JNU. She did not say anything or name either the Prime Minister or the Home Minister. She just met injured students and left. Immediately, supporters of the BJP launched a drive to boycott her movie. If she did not name any party or ideology, why wouldn’t you watch her film?” Hindustan Times quoted Kumar as saying.
“This means that they accept government supporters were behind the violence unleashed in JNU. The VC said great personalities should meet those students who are not being able to study. Somebody needs to remind him that this is his job. He has to talk to students and teachers. Deepika is not JNU’s Vice Chancellor,” he added.
On Tuesday, 7 January, Deepika joined a protest rally against the attack on students and teachers of JNU by masked miscreants, alleged to be members of the BJP-affiliated students organisation ABVP. Visuals from the protest show Deepika standing at the gathering, near the podium, from where Kanhaiya Kumar along with current JNUSU leader Aishe Ghosh were chanting slogans. Later, she also met with Ghosh.
Kumar tweeted in support of Deepika’s gesture saying that history would remember her for her courage.
While many have lauded Deepika for her show of solidarity, several have deemed it a publicity stunt for her film Chhapaak, which releases on 10 January. She was targeted by several right wing supporters, including BJP leader Tajindar Bagga, for siding with the ‘tukde tukde’ gang, a derogratory phrase coined by BJP sympathiser for people of the left. They also called for a boycott of Chhapaak. #BoycottChapak was one of the top trends on Twitter in India, with close to 220,000 tweets by the hashtag.
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