Millennium Post

Beyond glamour

As nation-wide agitations gathered momentum against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), other than the students that have been on the forefront, several well-known public figures including those from the film industry expressed their concern against the government's decision to implement these. Actor Siddharth came to Chennai to join the protesters demonstrating against CAA and NRC and alleged that CAA has given the government the right to decide who is persecuted based on their religion. Priyanka Chopra took to social media expressing her opinion on the CAA protests and condemned the use of violence on students peacefully protesting against the new law, adding that their voice counts in a thriving democracy. She expressed through a tweet that "Education for every child is our dream. Education is what empowered them to think independently. We have raised them to have a voice. In a thriving democracy, to raise one's voice peacefully and be met with violence is wrong. Every voice counts. And each voice will work towards changing India. #HaveVoiceWillRaise #HaveVoiceMustRaise". Several other celebrities took to social media to register their opinion on the issue, most of them condemning the violence, however, only few expressed about their opinion on the contentious CAA. The very few likes of Farhan Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap have been openly opposing the new law. The former took to social media urging people to come together with him in a protest against CAA, tweeting that "Here's what you need to know about why these protests are important. See you on the 19th at August Kranti Maidan, Mumbai. The time to protest on social media alone is over." Speaking at an event, actor Naseeruddin Shah expressed bluntly that actors in India are afraid to raise a voice in political matters. "Some actors express their opinions but those whose voices matter do not speak up," he added. Saying that actors afraid to lose, the fear of reprimand is what keeps many voices mute, the selection of work of the actor, however, does reflect their political bent. With greater visibility in the western film industry, actors like Meryl Streep is known for voicing her political opinion at award shows; Leo D'caprio voiced his concern regarding climate change upon receiving Oscar. As Shah said, there is no such thing as a perfect actor and perfect performance but making genuine efforts to be able to relate to a situation is the very first necessary step towards reaching out to a situation and probably addressing it too. The efforts of actors and popular public figures go a long way in creating awareness and sensitising people to matters.

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