Reportedly, some 300 Bollywood celebrities have signed a petition against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and expressed solidarity with the protestors and students.
The celebrities include Ratna Patak Shah, Naseeruddin Shah, Javed Jafferi, Nandita Das and others. These celebrities have already condemned the divisive CAB and also disapproved of India’s central government’s repressive actions to quell the massive protests.
300 signatories to the letter include filmmakers and veteran Bollywood actors such as Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Javed Jafferi among others. #CitizenshipAmendmentAct #NRC @nanditadas @MiraPagliNair https://t.co/U06jsNOL5t
— G Plus (@guwahatiplus) January 27, 2020
“Our vision for this nation demands that we speak up now, in the name of our democracy and the constitution that protects it. We are aware that we have not always lived up to that promise, and many of us have too often remained silent in the face of injustice,” the letter said.
“Contrary to the stated objective of the government, this does not appear to be benign legislation, only meant to shelter persecuted minorities. The list of exclusions seems to indicate otherwise. Why are minorities from other neighbors like Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar excluded?” they questioned in the letter.
India’s star actor and director Farhan Akhtar has not only condemned the bill but is even spearheading anti-CAB demonstrations
“Why to exclude the most persecuted minorities in the region, the Rohingya of Myanmar or the Uighurs of China?” it added.
Furor in Bollywood
Bollywood’s veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah blasted the BJP government and its Bollywood loyalists for its discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAB) in an interview with The Wire.
He expressed his angst over the rising communalism and religious extremism in India that intensified after the Citizenship Amendment Act.
— Arfa Khanum Sherwani (@khanumarfa) January 22, 2020
In his succinct interview, he outrightly repudiated the new conditions set by the BJP government for non-Hindu citizens to prove their Indian citizenship.
Shah, a hardcore critic of BJP’s divisive politics, said he is not afraid or anxious but angry at BJP for pitching an unfair CAA.
“If living 70 years here and doing whatever I could, does not prove me to be in India, I don’t know what does,” said Shah furiously.
Jaffrey’s video addressing a large gathering of charged up demonstrators in the Muslim-majority state of Hyderabad, India, circulated on social media. While widespread condemnation flowed in from Hindu Bollywood celebrities, Javed Jaffrey is among a handful of Muslim Bollywood celebrities including Farhan Akhtar and Shabana Azmi to decry the CAA.
People took to Twitter to slam Bollywood stars for being silent on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the subsequent police violence on anti-CAA protesters pic.twitter.com/TPR0xIBwSZ
— TRT World (@trtworld) December 19, 2019
While Indians had pinned lofty hopes with the three superstar Khans of Bollywood to call out BJP’s discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act against the Indian Muslims – the world’s largest religious minority – it was Bollywood’s comedian and actor Javed Jaffrey who whacked the Hindu-ring wing government with ferocious criticism.
Contrary to the deafening silence by Bollywood’s three superstars Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan on the issue, India’s star actor and director Farhan Akhtar has not only condemned the bill but is even spearheading anti-CAB demonstrations.
Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar announced that he will be partaking in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act to be held on Thursday at August Kranti Maidan in Mumbaihttps://t.co/8aBGsJjHiF
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) December 18, 2019
Farhan’s mother, veteran actress Shabana Azmi, also joined the protests and released a short video on her Twitter account. She read out a couple of verses penned down by her husband Javed Akhar, India’s prolific lyricist, to express dissent against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Bollywood actress, Parineeti Chopra condemned the use of brutal force by Delhi Police on the student protestors of Jamia Milia University protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.