New Delhi, January 7
Bollywood star Deepika Padukone on Tuesday visited the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to express solidarity with the students who were attacked by a mob, but she did not address the crowd.
The actor reached the university campus at around 7.40 pm and attended a public meeting, called by JNU Teacher's Association and JNUSU in response to Sunday's attack on students and teachers by a masked mob armed with sticks and rods.
Deepika stood as former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was raising azaadi slogans and left by the time current president Aishe Ghosh started speaking.
The actor's decision to not address the crowd prompted Ghosh to comment, "when you are in a position, you should speak up".
"There are many people in Bollywood who do not put forth their views when they are not be aired. They are considered role models. I appeal to them: Make inspiring films after something has happened but when you are in that position, also talk about the story that is currently happening," she said.
Later, Ghosh told PTI that Deepika expressed solidarity with the JNU students.
Deepika is in the capital to promote her upcoming release, Meghna Gulzar-directed "Chhapaak".
On Monday, the 34-year-old actor told a news channel that she feels proud that people have come out and raised their voice without fear, in reference to the protests against the amended Citizenship Act, the National Register of Citizens and violence in JNU.
"I feel proud to see that we aren't scared to express ourselves... I think the fact that we are thinking about the country and its future.... Whatever may be our point of view, it's nice to see," Deepika told NDTV India.
"I feel proud about it that people are coming out -- be it on the streets or wherever they are -- they are raising their voice and expressing themselves as it is important. If we want to see change in life and society, it is important that a point of view be put forward," she added.
BJP leader calls for boycotting her films
After the Bollywood actor joined the JNU protest, Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga called for boycotting her movies.
"RT if you will Boycott Movies of @deepikapadukone for her Support to #TukdeTukdeGang and Afzal Gang," he tweeted.
Bagga said he had planned to watch her movie, but would now "cancel" the plan.
Padukone, who’s in the national capital to promote her latest movie ‘Chapaak’, reportedly joined protesters at JNU’s Sabarmati hostel, one the several sites were masked assailants assaulted students on January 5. Agencies
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