India’s Bollywood fraternity joined a large number of people gathered in the western city of Mumbai on Monday evening to raise their voices against the attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University that left dozens of students and teachers injured on 5 January.
Prominent directors Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Anubhav Sinha and Vishal Bharadwaj too part along with well-known on-screen faces Taapsee Pannu, Dia Mirza, Richa Cadhdha and Gauhar Khan. Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra, known for his spicy remarks against the government, were also present.
Bollywood is an integral part of India’s diverse social fabric, and B-town celebrities command considerable influence on a large chunk of Indian population.
The presence of popular stars drew many into the protests, and they also appreciated Bollywood’s sensitivity to important incidents that shook the nation.
The Lions of Bollywood 👉@anuragkashyap72 & @anubhavsinha not just Tweeting & Doing Desh Bhakti.. Actually Stepping out to Protest in support of #JNU students #IStandwithAnuragKashyappic.twitter.com/FJSKCy61Fr— Aarti (@aartic02) January 7, 2020
The hashtag #IStandWithAnuragKashyap was trending on Twitter in India with more than 80,000 mentions already.
The director, famous for his firm opinions and blunt comments on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, acknowledged the support he garnered from netizens and thanked them via Twitter.
I was tweeting in isolation and had no idea that i had so much support across the country. Thank you for standing by me India . #letsTakeOurCountryBack— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) January 6, 2020
Indians in large numbers have gathered in different cities across the country to raise their voices against the brutality towards the university students.
The vandalism and violence that was unleashed on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University by masked intruders on 5 January in New Delhi has added fuel to the fire with tensions already high after the govt introduced the Citizenship Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens pic.twitter.com/37zd2Eid4Z— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) January 7, 2020
Students at JNU have been protesting against a fee hike in recent months. After the post-winter break, the situation has again become tense on campus, with a section of students opposed to holding a new semester registration process, without resolving the fee issue.
The controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) seeks to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants from three neighbouring Islamic countries, except Muslims. While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the law “manifests India’s ethos of harmony and compassion", his detractors feel it goes against the provisions of the Indian Constitution and discriminates on a religious basis.