20:57 GMT05 March 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has witnessed widespread protests against the enactment of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) entitling illegal non-Muslim migrants from three neighbouring countries eligible for citizenship, if they arrived in the country prior to 2015.

    Several Bollywood celebrities have raised their voices against the contentious law, including actor Farhan Akhtar who has taken a strong stand against the CAA, causing him to encounter legal troubles in December 2019.

    Letting bygones be bygones, the 45-year-old actor was trying to move on to 2020 by indulging himself in his upcoming projects, but netizens believe that he let himself get too involved in promoting anti-CAA protests just to get publicity for his movies.

    On Thursday, Farhan took to Instagram and Twitter to share a still from one of his 2020-releases titled “Toofan” that translates to “storm” in English. The picture shows the beefed-up actor with flexed muscles, dressed up as a boxer in blue sportswear.

    ​While the actor's muscles alone should have stolen the thunder, the post on both the social media platforms began garnering hateful responses from netizens, accusing him of being an attention seeker and anti-national. Several people also urged others to boycott “Toofan”, which is slated for an October release.

    ​On 18 December, Farhan asked Mumbai residents to join a protest rally against CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that requires Indians to prove their ethnicity with paperwork and documents.  

    ​Farhan’s tweet was chased by a response from a senior police officer Sandeep Mittal who highlighted that by triggering people to demonstrate protests, the actor himself had broken the laws.

    ​In addition, netizens also noted that the map of India, that came with Farhan’s tweet supporting the protests was also inaccurate, showing some parts of Jammu and Kashmir not marked under India.

    The actor later clarified that the graphic he shared was inaccurate and that he regretted not noticing the blunder.

    ​India’s federal government enacted the CAA on 12 December. The controversial law grants Indian citizenship to persecuted Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, who entered India illegally before 1 January 2015.

    Several opposition parties, students, and people from other walks of life have claimed that the law violates the Constitution. The government and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have, however, mounted a campaign to dispel any misinformation about the law and insisted that it is not anti-Muslim.


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