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“Why only artists, anyone can go anywhere and put forth his or her views,”

Posted in S. Asia

Published on January 14, 2020 with No Comments

Javadekar downplays Deepika’s JNU visit

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has distanced his party from calls for boycotting actor Deepika Padukone’s upcoming movie “Chhapaak” after she joined a protest by JNU students last evening, stating that not just artists, a common man can also go anywhere to express opinion in a democracy like India.

“This country is a democracy. Why only artists, anyone can go anywhere and put forth his or her views,” Javdekar said in response to questions regarding Padukone’s visit to the university that didn’t go down well with some of BJP functionaries who declared that her upcoming movie should be boycotted. The senior BJP minister, while saying he has not seen the comments, underscored the significance of his statement stressing that he was speaking as a minister and a “permanent” BJP spokesperson.

Regarding violence in JNU where masked people attacked students on Sunday night, Javadekar said the ongoing police probe would “unmask” the accused. “We are a mature democracy and everybody has the right to express their opinion. Violence has no place, especially in universities where people go to study,” he added.

The ABVP, the student wing of RSS which has been blamed by Left groups for the incident, has denied its involvement and blamed the rivals for the violence. Javadekar added that some unions in JNU had earlier decided to stop students from registering in semesters.

“We should not forget that this is an important issue. Stopping students from semester admission is anti-education,” he said. Padukone’s decision to join a protest by Left-dominated JNU students’ union against the attack on students had riled some BJP leaders who also urged supporters to boycott the movie. The social media, however, lauded Padukone for showing courage and taking a stance despite the expected backlash.

 

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