Dealing With a Govt That Lies And Has Zero Empathy: Anurag Kashyap

Anurag Kashyap says there are more Bollywood celebrities protesting than there were at the dinner hosted by BJP.

4 min read

Video editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan

“We are dealing with a government that lies, which has got the entire machinery to lie for them. They have zero empathy and sympathy.”
Anurag Kashyap, filmmaker

In an interview at 1:00 am outside the Gateway of India, where hundreds of Mumbai residents came together to protest against the Narendra Modi government, Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap speaks to The Quint about why he has joined the voices.

Kashyap also comments on how there were more Bollywood celebrities at the protests in Mumbai than at the dinner hosted by Union Minister Piyush Goyal. “They didn't go, a lot of them didn’t go, this is a big victory. Their refusal to go for an invite from the government is a big victory.”

The following are excerpts from the interview.

‘I Am Here to Learn From the Students’

You are here at Gateway of India - unprecedented scenes in Mumbai, a sit-in protest lasting for longer than 24 hours. Has Mumbai finally shed its “apolitical” tag?

Anurag Kashyap: It's not Mumbai, it's not the industry, it's not us, it's the kids. It's these students who are so inspiring, they are just so incredible. Their energy is unparalleled.

I am so inspired because they talk so much sense and they're talking about equality and love. I'm the one talking in anger on Twitter but these people, they are talking about love, they're talking about equality, they're talking about coming together and it's so incredible to see them and learn from them.

I've come here literally just to watch everybody and see what I can learn from them.

‘BJP’s Lies Called out by Their Own Videos From Other Times’

We have seen some extremely disheartening scenes that happened in JNU, students and professors beaten up.

Anurag Kashyap: It's all an agenda. We are dealing with a government who lies, whose got the entire machinery to lie for them. We've got a government whose whole sole agenda is to win elections and they have zero empathy, total lack of empathy and sympathy. They only work for themselves. I do not buy anything BJP says, today if BJP sets up a shop here to sell me a piece of cloth, I will doubt that.

But the BJP is pointing fingers at the opposition, saying that the violence in JNU is the work of those with a “shrinking political footprint”.

Anurag Kashyap: BJP will do anything, I am telling you that every single riot-like situation or violence that is being created has been created by BJP goons and they are in control of things and they manipulate it. They are liars, they're cheats, they're violent, they're goondas. For me, they are the terrorists.

When BJP talks, they are lying. Our Prime Minister lies, our Home Minister lies, they lie openly. Their lies are called out by their own videos from other times.

‘More Bollywood Celebrities at Protests Than at BJP Dinner’

On Sunday, 5 January, Union Minister Piyush Goyal held a dinner for Bollywood celebrities...

Anurag Kashyap: Nobody turned up, more people turned up in Bandra for the protest. That shows that the industry is standing up. I won't judge people who are not talking. I don't know what the basis of their fear is. A person has a home, a career, he has a lot of things, so some people do not speak out of fear. But I have a problem with the people who are coming out and saying the opposite (supporting the government).

I do not have a problem with people who are silent because the person who is silent will find his voice some day. Some day, he will also be pushed to his limit then he will also speak, so I don't judge him.

It was reported on The Quint as well that a lot more of celebrities were invited, but several of them said no...

Anurag Kashyap: They didn't go, a lot of them didn't go. This is a big victory. Their silence and their refusal to go for an invite from the government is a big victory for me.

‘Egoistic and Uneducated Govt Attacking Educational System’

We are seeing popular protests across the country, a huge number of people gathering...

Anurag Kashyap: Not just popular protests, it's a very honest protest, people are now just tired (of what’s happening). They can see through everything.

In what way do you think this will have an impact, because the government seems adamant so far?

You are dealing with a very egoistic, uneducated government, they are scared of the educated people. They are scared of knowledge. They are scared of people being aware. So they want to attack the educational system, they want everyone to come down to where they can be controlled. But everybody you see in this crowd can see through them.

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