Nikkhil Advani on anti-CAA protest: They must have reasons for not speaking out

Updated: Dec 18, 2019, 08:21 IST | Sonil Dedhia | Mumbai

As he mobilises Bollywood to join the anti-CAA protest in Mumbai on December 19, filmmaker Nikkhil Advani on why industry's big guns have kept mum on Jamia violence.

Nikkhil Advani
Nikkhil Advani

Two days since the students' protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi took a violent turn, the country has stood in solidarity with the protesters and criticised the Delhi Police for resorting to brutality. Closer home in Bollywood, the big guns — who go into an overdrive on social media when lauding the state's initiatives or posting selfies with Prime Minister Narendra Modi — have maintained a stoic silence on the issue.

Fortunately though, a section of the industry — including Rajkummar Rao, Anurag Kashyap, Ayushmann Khurrana, Swara Bhasker and Parineeti Chopra, among others — have extended support to the students. Several stars are also expected to join the anti-CAA protest at August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai tomorrow.

Farhan Akhtar and Dia MirzaFarhan Akhtar and Dia Mirza

Talking to mid-day, filmmaker Nikkhil Advani says he has urged members of the film fraternity to throw their weight behind the protest. "People are welcome to join the march. Some of my colleagues like Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Dia Mirza, Konkona Sensharma and many more will join us. Teesta Setalvad [activist], along with other organisers, is procuring the necessary permissions. It is our way of showing solidarity with the students all over the country. We will do it in a peaceful way."

Konkona Sensharma and Zoya AkhtarKonkona Sensharma and Zoya Akhtar

The apathy displayed by the A-list celebrities has not gone unnoticed by netizens. Ask Advani why the stars — who are considered role models by their legions of fans — have maintained a deafening silence, and he says, "They must be having their own reasons for not wanting to speak out. It's fine as that is what democracy is all about. People can have their own stand. Who am I to question it? I will protest in my way, and no one can question me as long as I am not harming anyone or intending to cause disharmony."

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