New Delhi: While last night witnessed violent protests in Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, and marches across the country by students and citizens against the violence of police and security forces, Bollywood actor Ranvir Shorey said that college campuses and campuses should be free of politics.
“IMHO educational institutions and campuses should be free of all politics. Education & politics together only breed criminals and hokey politicians in India,” tweeted Shorey at 1.21 am on 16 December, even as the country was in the midst of civil disturbance after brutal clashes at Jamia Milia and Aligarh.
Then, at 11:42 am in the morning, Shorey shared a tweet regarding protests at Nadwa College in Lucknow.
This marks one of the first times a major Bollywood celebrity has entered the inflamed debate surrounding the Citizen (Amendment) Bill, which is now an Act (CAB & CAA).
Shorey’s opinion was not well received as the country, still reeling from the bloody encounters, fired back. “Did they teach you how to be spineless in your college?” said one user @HouseOfNoronha:
While former General Secretary of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) Angellica Aribam urged Shorey to wipe his Twitter.
“No. Colleges breed future citizens. Citizens good enough to ask and fight for a better nation, unlike citizens like you that sit & turn a blind eye to what’s happening. Politics is not just a term, it’s what governs every day life,” said another netizen.
While others were not so forgiving.
The protest march by students of Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi against the Citizenship Act (CAA) on 15 December turned violent as at least three buses and several two-wheelers were set ablaze. Batons and tear gas were used as police were seen chasing protesters through the streets. At least 125 people were injured in the clashes through the evening.
Following the events, protests erupted in several parts of the country, including IIT Bombay, Jadavpur University in West Bengal, JNU, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad, and parts of Kerala.
Police also clashed with students at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), where a local reporter said tear gas and water cannons used by cops, and stone pelting was witnessed.
Students and alumni of Jamia University released a statement early on the morning of 16 December which can be seen here.
Several citizens and netizens have been vocal about the conspicuous silence of Bollywood and sports celebrities regarding the CAB/CAA, protests, and security forces response.
Now that Bollywood stars appear to finally be entering the debate, does Shorey represent the zeitgeist?
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