Do celebrities taking a political stand or placing themsleves on the other side of the fence call for out of the mill categorisation or intruments of verbal abuse? Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar on Saturday courted fresh controversy by saying that those who celebrated the assassination Mahatma Gandhi, are in power at present. Referring to the recent Pune Police raids in which five noted activists were arrested for alleged Naxal links, the actress said,”The society is turning into blood-thirsty system, which is not good.”
“Is desh mein Mahatma Gandhi jaise mahaan insaan ki hatya hui, us waqt bhi kuch aise log the jo celebrate kar rahe the unki hatya ko, aaj wo satta mein hain, un sabko daal dena chahiye jail mein?, nahin na. Obvioulsy nahi (Mahatma Gandhi was killed in this country, and at that time also there were people who celebrated. Today they are in power, should we jail all of them? Obviously, no.),” the actress said, launching an indirect attack on Modi-led govt.
Speaking about the issue of dissent, she raked up the issue of 1984 anti-Sikh riots and said that there were people who referred to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a terrorist killed during Operation Bluestar, as Sant Jarnail. “Not all who called Bhindranwale Sant Jarnail were jailed,” Swara stated.
At an interaction with women journalists at Indian Women's Press Corps in New Delhi the actor also said that people can be punished for their deeds, and not for their thought.
In a major crackdown, the Pune Police on Tuesday arrested human rights activists Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Pereira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha for their alleged association with the Elgaar Parishad held in Pune ahead of the January 1, 2018 Bhima-Koregaon riots and their alleged links with Maoists. The raids were carried out in Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Haryana.
Later, the police claimed to have seized items like computers, laptops, CDs, documents and books from them and claimed that they functioned like an ‘urban think tank’ for Maoists.
However, the apex court, on Wednesday, directed that the five Left-wing activists arrested by the Pune Police should be kept under house arrest until the next date of hearing on September 6.
Notably, this is not the first time, the ‘Veere di Wedding’ actress has targeted Narendra Modi-led government. Earlier on August 29, she took to micro-blogging site Twitter and had said, “Indian jails are only for writers, human rights activists and academics.. And doctors who saved the lives of children.
Extending her support to the arrested human rights activists, Swara Bhaskar said as a citizen of this country she finds it strange that on one hand, we have cases of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who have run away with thousands of crores of taxpayers' money, on the other hand, five people who have been speaking up for the poorest of the poor are being unfairly targeted by putting serious charges against them.
Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar, who vocally speaks on social and political issues, on Saturday targetted the ruling NDA government over the arrest of alleged Maoist sympathisers by the Pune Police in a multi-city raid. Swara wondered how can the police arrest the human rights activists while most of them were not present at the scene of protest (Bhima-Koregaon violence).
Swara also stated that as a citizen of this country she finds it strange that on one hand we have cases of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who have run away with thousands of crores of taxpayers’ money, on the other hand, five people who have been speaking up for the poorest of the poor are being unfairly targeted by putting serious charges against them.