What Bollywoood Can Learn From Deepika Padukone’s JNU Visit — The Power Move?
On Tuesday, actor Deepika Padukone was in the Capital city for the promotions of her movie Chhapaak. In the evening, an image of her standing in front of injured JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh with folded hands, emoting eyes, in a black turtle neck sweater appeared. Deepika Padukone’s JNU visit sent the country in a frenzy.
Deepika Padukone went to JNU for providing solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University students against violence committed in the university and took the country by the storm. From news channels, TRP’s to twitter timelines all were thriving on Padukone’s image (literally and metaphorically.)
Deepika Padukone: The Voice of Bollywood
What Deepika Padukone did is not unheard of but is quite unusual for Bollywood. The South Indian movie fraternity is very vocal about their political affiliations starts like Kamal Hasan, Sidharth and more has come out in the past opinionating on various political subjects.
To some, Bollywood stars are good enough to click a selfie with the Prime Minister Modi ji but not good enough to comment on the socio-political state of the country. Even when it comes to ‘Why Bollywood is silent,’ patriarchy prevails and only the Khans’, Kapoors’ and Bachchans’ are questioned, never the female celebrities!
The anti-CAA protest saw several celebrities vocalizing their opinions and even participating in demonstrations. Celebrities from the film industry like Taapsee Pannu, Swara Bhasker, Richa Chadda, Farhan Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, Anubhav Sinha and more showed the signs of a generational shift. Still, none of them equals Chhapaak’s producer in star power or global influence.
The ‘A’ Lister Syndrome
It’s now that ‘A’ lister celebrities have come out to defend Deepika Padukone’s JNU visit and vocalizing their own opinions but what she did comes as an unexpected and unprecedented move. Her bent head folded hands in a Namaste, and no media bytes indeed speaks volume.
Her silence echoes strength that one needs to speak up and her expression emotes the sensitivity needed to handle it. It’s not the first instance that the Chhapaak actor has spoken the unspeakable. Padukone runs a mental health foundation and is the face of the Indian Psychiatric Society.
JNU Visit Is None Of Chhapaak’s Business
On Friday Meghna Gulzar directed movie opened to an ordinary start at ₹ 4.77 crores against Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Rajinikanth’s Darbar. Confirming Deepika Padukones JUN visit is her stand not a publicity stunt by risking a ban/boycott on the movie even after being the producer.
She made it clear that she understands the influence she has in two ways first by daring to make a political choice and other by being unapologetic about it knowing her audience will follow her regardless.
The brand Deepika Padukone has only broken another glass ceiling paving the path for others simply by being herself.