Tweeted to Bollywood in Tears After Violence on Students: Sayani
Video editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
Speaking to The Quint at a protest in Mumbai, actor Sayani Gupta says that the crackdown against protesters and the violence on students proves that the Modi government is scared.
She also recounts how she was crying helplessly on seeing videos of the violence against students in Jamia and Aligarh Muslim University, and how that drove her to post the tweet imploring Bollywood stars to speak up against what was happening in the country.
You’ve spoken about not understanding how people don’t speak up at such a time. I want to ask you about the tweet you posted, commenting on how several of Bollywood’s biggest stars, who have gone to meet PM Modi in the past and clicked selfies with him, have not spoken up in such a time.
Sayani Gupta: When the violence was unfolding in Jamia and Aligarh, I was in Lucknow for a shoot. I was up all night, crying and pacing up and down my hotel room. I was just feeling helpless, thinking that we must do something. But what do you do? In that moment of helplessness, I felt, you know what, I’m just going to do it (post the tweet). When I posted it, I thought I would only get flak for it.
I was shooting. I went to my shoot crying. But I saw my phone and there were tens of messages from people I know and people I don’t, on Twitter, on Instagram, just people saying “Thank you.”
And I felt like, why are people thanking me? We should all be here. We should all speak out. I believe that when you are alone, you might feel scared to speak up. But when you are one in a million, when everyone stands together, there is no room for fear.
‘The Egalitarian Nature of These Protests Is Beautiful’
What does it feel like to see Mumbai having almost awoken politically in this time of crisis?
Sayani Gupta: The fact that this has managed to get Mumbai out on the streets is incredible!
I’m here because I am a citizen and I care enough. I think all of us should care enough because it is a matter of our country, our homes, our Constitution, our children, ourselves, one another, every single person you know, people who work in your homes, your drivers, your maids, people who give you work, everybody.
(The Quint is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)