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Bollywood stars who took up crucial causes that didn't concern them

With Ranbir Kapoor endorsing FTII students' demand for chairman Gajendra Chauhan's ouster, we profile a few Bollywood celebs who went out of their way to be associated with causes they were not directly linked to...

Bollywood stars are generally seen to be vocal about causes when they sign up as the face of a particular campaign. However, there are some who go the extra mile to be associated with issues that need to be discussed although they may not have a direct bearing on them. Ranbir Kapoor has added his name to the latter category by declaring his support to the ongoing students' agitation at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) centered on the controversial appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as institute chairman.

Ranbir Kapoor

The star, who is not an FTII alumnus, says in a video released by the students' association, "It is only fair that students deserve a fair hearing of what they want. All they require is an aspirational figure to look up to... when it comes to an institute of art, I think there needs to be freedom of speech, a dialogue between the governing council and the students so everything is in harmony. I don't think what the students are asking for is illogical, all they are asking for is to give them a fair chance, a fair opportunity, correct faculty, correct syllabus. I really do pray that an institute that we all are so proud of and has seen such great personalities emerge from... shouldn't be a disappointment for student and future students."

Earlier, filmmaker Kiran Rao had also joined the students' protest in Bandra although she is not part of the FTII alumni. hitlist takes a look at B-Town celebs who lent support to a cause that didn't concern them directly... 

Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan
This star is known to speak his mind on trending topics. Nearly a decade ago, Aamir found himself in the midst of a controversy for extending support to the Narmada Bachao Andolan with social activist Medha Patkar and writer Arundhati Roy. The actor had stated in many interviews that he was not exactly against a dam being constructed on
the river but wanted the Gujarat government to ensure adequate rehabilitation and compensation to displaced farmers. In 2006, he had slammed the then Narendra Modi government for the 2006 Vadodara violence and hinted at the Gujarat riots without specific mention. Consequently, his film 'Fanaa' which released around the same time was banned in the state. However, Aamir refused to budge from his stand and did not apologise for his remarks. Four years ago, he once again came out in support of Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal Bill movement. He went to Delhi to show his support for Hazare's strike, although he admitted that he was not in favour of all clauses in the Bill.

Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt
Unlike her sister Pooja and father Mahesh Bhatt, Alia doesn't count matters of the mind as her strength. But last year, she took us by surprise by shooting a video on women safety. The documentary directed by Vikas Bahl shows Alia's car breaking down in the dead of the night, leaving her stranded on the streets. It was an attempt to highlight the increasing number of rape cases across the country. Alia, in one of her interviews, said that she felt she didn't do much about social causes and this was her way of present the plight of girls.

Imran Khan
Imran Khan
Like his uncle Aamir, Imran too likes to be expressive about causes that matter to the aam aadmi. In 2011, the actor had filed a petition against the Maharashtra government's proposal to raise the legal drinking age from 21 to 25. Imran said the proposal infringes on the fundamental rights of a citizen in a democratic country and if the government has not banned the sale of liquor, anyone above the age of 21 should be allowed to make the choice to consume it or not. While that matter is still pending in court, he shot for a video last year against the government's decision to criminalise homosexuality. Again, it was conceptualised by AIB and it had Imran talking about gay stereotypes. He also drew attention to social ills like dowry and caste system. The video received many hits and Imran earned appreciation for it.

Richa Chadda
Richa Chadda
Earlier this year, Richa took up an offer to be part of a video that focussed on Indian parents pressurising their daughters to get married early. The actress collaborated with stand-up comedian Aditi Mittal and played a bride to-be. She said humour is the best way to reach out to the youth and create awareness through social media and online videos since one can skirt censorship . As expected, Richa got an overwhelming response for her efforts from various quarters.

Kalki Koechlin
Kalki Koechlin
The actress has hardly, if ever, shied away from taking a stand on controversial issues. Two years ago when the nation was shaken by reports of sexual assaults on the rise, most celebrities criticised the system and the tedious legal process for justice, Kalki's YouTube video came as a whiff of fresh air. Instead of being preachy, the All India Bakchod (AIB), which conceptualised the short film, chose to expose the Indian mentality of blaming the survivor, and Kalki featured as one. It was well received by the youth and got more than four lakh views. The actress later confessed that she had taken a risk with this awareness video.

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